Rourkela:30/9/19:Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday announced the Centre’s plan to raise the capacity of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) to over 10 million tonne from 4.2 million tonne now.
The minister asserted that further expansion and modernisation at RSP, a unit of SAIL, will play a major role in transforming the western Odisha town of Rourkela into a manufacturing hub.
He asserted that raising RSP’s capacity is important as crude steel production in the country is sought to be increased from 140 MT to 300 MT by 2030 which will benefit the country in a big way.
The Union Steel minister, who visited RSP and held discussions with its top officials, said that SAIL will soon become a merchant miner with the Centre allowing it to sell a quarter of its captive annual iron ore output, which will benefit steel makers.
“SAIL at present has over 70 million tonne of low grade iron fines which it could not sell so far. Now necessary steps have been taken to give SAIL merchant miner status and it can dispose of these high in demand materials. This will add to the profitability of SAIL,” he said.
Noting that merchant mining lease will come to an end in March 2020, Pradhan said the Centre’s decision will also increase input-supplies security for domestic steel makers, as the state-run steel behemoth is the countrys second-biggest miner of the key raw material.
Pradhan, during his meeting with RSP officials, emphasised the need for fast-tracking projects and greater contribution towards regional development.
Noting that RSP is located in the heart of the mineral rich belt of Odisha, he said it can be a leader in steel production in India and can contribute significantly towards achieving the target of producing 300 million tonne of steel.
Describing RSP as one of the best SAIL units, he urged the top management to recalibrate their approach and further leverage new technologies and digitalisation to enhance productivity and profitability.
RSP officials need to explore options for localisation of consumption of primary steel produced at the plant. This will ensure growth of the downstream steel industry in Rourkela, he said.
The Petroleum and Steel Minister also took stock of the progress of national highway projects in Rourkela and Sundargarh. NHAI is undertaking highway projects worth Rs 20,000 crore in Odisha including Rs 3,000 crore in Rourkela, he said adding officials have been asked to ensure the timely completion of the projects.