State-owned miner NMDC Limited today said it expects commercial production of its 3-million tonne per annum capacity steel plant in Chhattisgarh to commence by the middle of 2017.
"The plant erection will be completed by December 2016. It is not an easy task. It is challenging. People will have to work hard. Trial of machines or trial of the plant will start by December 2016. Production will start in the middle of 2017," the PSU's CMD Narendra Kothari, who superannuated today, told PTI.
NMDC is in the process of setting up a steel plant in Nagarnar in Chhattisgarh with an investment outlay of over Rs 15,000 crore.
Chhattisgarh government allotted a mine -- Bailadila Deposit-4 -- to NMDC and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation JV for captive purpose for an Integrated Steel Plant.
The iron ore will be supplied to the plant at market price, not on transfer basis, a senior company official said.
"The capacity of the steel plant will be about 60 per cent for the first year and would go up gradually to 100 per cent over a period of time," the official said.
On the iron ore market situation, Kothari said the sluggishness in ore prices may remain for the next two years internationally. However, there can be some uptrend in the domestic market if some initiatives, such as anti-dumping duty on steel products, are put in place.
"This trend internationally will remain for the next two years. In our country, I hope after six months or a year things will improve. Once this import duty is in place, the steel industry will have good time and similarly iron ore will also have better demand. Domestic demand is good. But the problem is dumping by some countries into India," he said.