Pilot plant facility for CRGO steel planned at Jamshedpur, India in 2 years

10 February 2015

Economic Times reported that TATA Steel said that a pilot facility that is being planned to produce a specialised grade of steel used in transformers and generators may take about two years to come up.

Mr T Venugopalan, technical adviser to managing director at TATA Steel, said that “The time to set up the entire pilot facility is expected to be around two years. The development of CRGO will be completed within six months of completion of the pilot plant."

Mr Venugopalan said that currently, pre-feasibility work is being carried out after which an engineering consultant would be awarded the contract for preparing the detailed project report. The consultant's report, which is expected in about four months, will then be submitted to all the partners for approval.

He said that TATA Steers board has given an in-principle approval to the project, but a formal approval may take about three to four months.

He added that "After the grade is developed, commercialisation of the grade may take about 24-36 months, which may be the time needed to establish the cold-rolling complex suitable enough for the production of CRGO."

Officials said that the plant will be housed in the Jamshedpur campus of the National Metallurgical Laboratory, which comes under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

TATA Steel and Rashtriya Ispat may invest about INR 125 crore each in the project, while the remaining funds would come from the steel ministry and NML.

A senior official at the steel ministry said that “A budget of INR 150 crore has already been approved for the pilot project. The objective is to initiate research and development in the direction of indigenous production of CRGO steel. We might also ask some foreign company to do some hand-holding.”

CRGO steel is silicon-based metal sheet used in the core of transformers and generators and has a complex manufacturing process. Globally, 14-15 companies, such as Japan's Nippon steel, JFE Steel, US-based AK Steel and Korean major POSCI have the technology to manufacture the variety.