Facing tough challenges at the onset of the fiscal, Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) has still managed to perform well above the rated capacity in all major areas of production in the financial year 2011-12.
The flagship entity of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) achieved a capacity utilisation of 109.1 per cent Hot Metal, 125.0 per cent in Crude Steel and 136.2 per cent in Saleable Steel. In Saleable Steel, the plant operated above the rated capacity for the 19th year in succession.
But the feat was not smooth for the BSP management that faced tough time combating with technical problems at the onset of 2011-12. The health of some aging coke oven batteries posed a big challenge, affecting coke production and gas availability for the reheating furnaces of the mills.
“(The fiscal) 2011-12 was one of the most challenging years ever faced by Bhilai Steel Plant. Despite some setbacks in the initial months, we have been able to conclude the year by performing well above the rated capacity in all major areas of production,” BSP chief executive officer Pankaj Gautam told Business Standard.
This could be achieved by enhancing operational and internal efficiencies, strengthening maintenance activities and also undertaking repairs to renew the life of some important assets of production, he added. What was equally important was that the BSP increased production of value added steels for achieving better net sales realization, Gautam said
In order to compensate for the shortage of coke, a strategic decision was taken to source BF coke from alternative sources. In all, about 3.70 lakh tonnes of hard coke was procured from outside sources including Neelachal Ispat Ltd, IISCO steel plant, RINL, Columbia and others.
Amidst tough challenges, the plant concluded the Year 2011-12 with annual production of 5.13 million tonnes (MT) of Hot Metal, 4.90 MT of Crude Steel and 4.29 MT of Saleable Steel. The plant loaded 4.35 MT Saleable steel for dispatch during the year.
The production this year was slightly less than the production achieved last year. BSP, which has major shares in SAIL’s profit, produced 5.71 MT hot metal, 5.33 MT crude steel and 4.57 MT saleable steel.