Tata Steel lines up Rs 2,000 crore for Odisha mine development

14 March 2016

Tata Steel will spend Rs 2,000 crore to develop the Khondbond mine in Odisha, even as it gears up for an integrated commissioning of its new plant at Kalingangar.

Investment in the mine, linked to the company's raw material needs of its greenfield steel plant, will be over and above the Rs 25,000 crore it has spent on the plant, Rajiv Kumar, vice-president (operations-KPO) Kalinganagar Operations, told reporters recently.

The mine, located in Keonjhar, is expected to produce up to 5 million tonnes of iron ore, and is tipped to emerge as one of the three mines that will meet Tata Steel's iron ore needs. The latter has been operating mines in the state's ore-rich Barbil areas like Joda and Noamundi for several decades. It is also perhaps the first major investment in developing a large iron ore mine in the state in recent years, as the country's mining sector stirs backs to life after the Supreme Court ban on illegal mining. "We have a dedicated iron ore block at Khonbond, about 200 km from the plant. The mine is being developed. Right now, we are getting ore from Joda (Joda East Iron Mine)," Kumar said. "We will invest around Rs 2,000 crore to develop the mine. The investment on mine development is separate from the Rs 25,000 crore invested in building the Kalinganagar plant."

The company is aiming at an integrated commissioning of all units of its new plant at Kalingangar by September this year, he said. With the first phase being commissioned, Tata Steel's total domestic production is poised to go up to 13 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). The new plant can produce 3 mtpa of steel in the first phase with the capacity due to be ramped up to 6 mtpa.

However, Kumar said, "We need to keep our market share intact as the Indian steel market grows.We will plan it accordingly." Tata Steel has about 15% share of the Indian steel market which produced 80-90 million tonnes of steel last year.

Tata Steel's new plant will specialise in a portfolio of high-grade flat products for defence equipment, ship-building, automotive, aviation, energy and infrastructure sectors. When fully operational, it will complement the Jamshedpur plant, particularly the latter's cold-rolling unit, enriching Tata Steel's flat products portfolio both in volume and range. The new plant, ho wever, has to grapple with the issue of availing and retaining skilled manpower. While it will generate some 5,000 direct and indirect jobs, with 2,725 persons on the rolls, it will also be one of the leanest steel plants in the country.


Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com