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JSL to invest Rs 7000 cr to ramp up Orissa plant capacity three fold

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

JSL Ltd (formerly Jindal Stainless Ltd) will invest Rs 6000-7000 crore on scaling up the capacity of its steel plant at Kalinga Nagar in Orissa from one million tonne per annum (mtpa) to 3.2 mtpa. The steel maker hopes to achieve the expanded capacity within four years.

"We have achieved capacity of one mtpa of stainless steel production at our Orissa plant and we are going to ramp it up to 3.2 mtpa in four years. The capacity expansion will involve an additional investment of Rs 6000-7000 crore”, Ratan Jindal, vice chairman and managing director, JSL Ltd told media persons after meeting the state Chief Secretary B K Patnaik.

Jindal said, the company’s ferrochrome production has taken a big hit due to sharp increase in the prices of chrome ore, a key raw material for making of ferrochrome.

JSL, which currently buys ore from the state government owned Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) to cater to the requirement of its Kalinga Nagar plant, has given a proposal to the state government to link chrome ore prices with that of chromium metal.

"They (JSL) have given a proposal to link chrome ore prices with that of chromium metal. We will examine the proposal”, said state Chief Secretary.

According to the proposal submitted by JSL, linking chrome ore prices with that of chromium metal would offer a cushion to the steel maker so that when chromium metal prices fall, chrome ore prices would also subside.

The company pointed out that currently chrome ore prices of OMC did not dip despite falling prices of chromium metal.

Though JSL has been granted chromite mines in Orissa, it was meant for captive consumption and could not be used in stainless steel production.

Therefore, the steel firm had to buy chrome ore from OMC.Meanwhile, the company clarified that it has no plan to build port along the Orissa coast. "We don't have any proposal to set up a port in the state”, said Jindal.

He also denied allegations that locals were not employed in the company's steel plant in Orissa.

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First Published: Tue, September 06 2011. 00:10 IST