New Steel Rolling Mill to be Operational at SAIL-SCL Soon

16 March 2015

Adding a new chapter to its history, the Steel Complex Ltd (SCL) Kozhikode is all set to launch its new steel rolling mill, which is likely to be inaugurated in a couple of weeks’ time.

According to sources, if things go as planned, the trial run of the mill will be commenced soon. “Initially, we were planning to operate the rolling mill by March 15. But, as there was some delay, we expect to complete the work by the end of the month and commence production,” said a source.

The setting up of the rolling mill was crucial for the rehabilitation of steel complex, a joint venture of the Steel Authority India LTD (SAIL) and the Government of Kerala. It will also give the company a foothold in the finished steel products market. The mill was set up at a cost of around `65 crore, of which `9.72 crore was given by the state government and `10 crore by SAIL. The balance `45.33 crore was taken as loan from the Canara Bank.

SAIL-SCL Kerala Limited (SAIL-SCL) is the only mini steel plant in Kerala. The company was originally promoted in the joint sector between the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (KSIDC) and a private entrepreneur in 1969.

It set up its mini steel plant in 1972 with an installed capacity of 37,000 tonnes. In 1983, the company undertook expansion scheme by adding the third electric arc furnace, following which the production capacity was raised to 55,000 tonnes of steel billets per year. But, the functioning of the plant was hit hard owing to financial crisis. In 1992, SCL was referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).

It got a fresh lease of life in 2008 when it signed an MoU with SAIL, paving way for it to acquire 50 per cent stake in the company and takeover its operations in February 2011.

The cornerstone of the joint venture agreement was the setting up of a steel rolling mill to produce 65,000 tonnes of TMT steel with an investment of `65 crore. However, the steel mill project envisaged as part of the MoU between SAIL and SCL got delayed inordinately.

It was put back on track in August 2012 after the BIFR asked the two main shareholders - the Government of Kerala and SAIL - to complete the formalities for setting up the mill in two months.


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