Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), which is building an integrated steel and power complex at Angul, plans to commission its gas-based DRI or sponge iron plant having two million tonne capacity by July this year, said Ravi Upal, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of steel business of the company.
JSPL’s Angul facility commissioned its 2 million tonne per annum (mtpa) plate mill last year. The company is bringing semi-finished steel products from its Raigarh plant in Chhatishgarh to produce steel plates there.
“The sponge iron production from the DRI plant at our Angul integrated steel complex will start by early July. We have already completed construction of coal gasification plant, which will supply gas to produce sponge iron,” Upal said.
The company has been allotted Utkal B 1 coal block in the state with an estimated reserve of 228 million tonne. The company officials said, they have all the clearances and are waiting for the state government’s permission to start mining.
“We hope the nod of the state government for the surface right of Utkal B1 will come anytime in next couple of months and we can start sponge iron production by July. The DRI plant will achieve full capacity in September,” Upal said.
Apart from the coal mines, the company will need around three million tonne of iron ore per year to run the plant. JSPL said, though it can manage iron ore supply issue by arranging from private miners and Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), it surely needs a permanent source of supply for larger capacity.
“We will try to address the issue of iron ore by buying from open market or from OMC. But to achieve the full capacity of 5.5 to 6 mpta, we would need a captive mine,” he said. Along with existing 1.2 million tonne per annum plate capacity and 530 Mw power plant, the Naveen Jindal-led company has plans to produce 2.8 million tonne steel sheets and 1.5 million tonne billets per year and another power generating unit of 170 Mw capacity in its second phase of expansion.
The company has so far invested Rs 16,000 crore in the project and has earmarked Rs 18,000 crore for the next phase expansion. About 26,000 people including 3,000 direct employees are working for the company at present.