Auto Industry Continues Towards Downward Path

The industry produced a total 1,729,002 vehicles including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, three wheelers and two wheelers in July 2013 as against 1,745,532 in July 2012, registering a decline of (-) 0.95 percent over the same month last year. The overall domestic sales during April-July 2013 declined by (-) 2.09 percent over the same period last year.
The sales of Passenger Vehicles declined by (-) 7.49 percent during April-July 2013 over the same period last year. Within the Passenger Vehicles, passenger cars, utility vehicles and vans dropped by (-) 9.73 percent, (-) 1.03 percent and (-) 2.39 percent respectively during April-July 2013 compared to the same period last year.
The overall Commercial Vehicles segment registered a de-growth of (-) 9.91 percent in April-July 2013 as compared to the same period last year. Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicles (M&HCVs) registered negative growth at (-) 16.65 percent and Light Commercial Vehicles also dropped by (-) 6.11percent.
Three Wheelers sales declined by (-) 3.45 percent in April-July 2013 over the same period last year. Passenger Carriers and Goods Carriers also declined by (-) 2.84 percent and (-) 6.05 percent respectively in April-July 2013 over April-July 2012.
Two Wheelers segment registered de-growth of (-) 0.64 percent during April-July 2013 over April-July 2012. Within the Two Wheelers segment, mopeds and motorcycles declined by (-) 13.07 percent and (-) 3.40 percent respectively, while scooters grew by 13.11 percent in April-July 2013 over April-July 2012. During April-July 2013 overall automobile exports declined by (-) 3.37 percent. Commercial vehicles and Two Wheelers declined by (-) 26.53 percent, (-) 9.88 percent respectively, while passenger vehicles and three wheelers registered growth at 2.39 percent and 46.47 percent respectively during April-July 2013 compared to the same period last year.

  Indian steel consumption remains flat during April to July

India's steel consumption was flat during the first four months of the current fiscal, showing just just 0.2% growth year on year at 24.1 million tonne, on poor off-take by large sectors like construction and automobiles. Finished steel consumption, a key pointer to the health of a country's economy, was at 24 MT during the April-July period of last fiscal, data compiled by Joint Plant Committee, a unit of the Steel Ministry, has revealed. Subdued consumption by the construction and automobile sectors was due to economic slowdown, said an industry official, adding that things are likely to be better after the monsoon season. Steel production grew however by 3.1% to 26.1 million tonne during the four month period of 2013-14, from 25.3 million tonne during the April to July period of 2012-13 fiscal. Main players such as SAIL, TATA Steel and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam produced 6.6 million tonne during the period, clocking 9.6% growth, while other key producers like JSW Steel and Essar Steel had cumulatively output of 7.4 million tonne.

  Indian steel industry poised for tougher time ahead

The domestic steel industry already faced an increase in cost of production due to the relentless fall in rupee amid a sluggish demand in the quarter ended June but the worst doesn't seem to have ended yet. The Brokerages said, “Rather, the road ahead looks tougher with thin hopes of steel demand revival coupled with unpredictable trend in rupee amid stressed balance sheets due to high debt and poor investment climate.” In the quarter ended June, among the top domestic steel producers, JSW Steel Ltd and Steel Authority of India Ltd took a hit on their bottomlines due to the rupee volatility, while others like the Tata Steel Ltd and Jindal Steel & Power Ltd managed to escape this brunt on the back of high deferred tax and increased other income, respectively. Mr Abhisar Jain equity research analyst metals from Centrum Broking said ,“The demand side challenge for the steel industry will continue and it may be difficult for the sector to even beat the 3.5% demand growth achieved in 2012 to 13.” The domestic steel demand has grown only 0.3% in April to June. On the currency front, the depreciating rupee is expected to further hurt the cost of production of steel companies in turn affecting their margins. Coking coal prices, which have been low at around USD 135 to 140 per tonne may only rebound from the current levels. The analysts said ,“This, along with the depreciating rupee is expected to swell the import bill of steel companies going ahead, taking their cost of production even higher in coming quarters.”

  TATA Motors July global wholesales down by 14%

TATA Motors Ltd's global wholesale vehicle sales fell an annual 14% in July, the company said, as a sharp rise in the sales of its luxury Jaguar Land Rover cars failed to offset sluggish passenger and commercial vehicle sales. TATA Motors part of India's TATA Group conglomerate, sold 87,566 vehicles in July, the company said on Wednesday. Passenger cars accounted for 46,684 vehicle sales, down 13% from a year earlier. Sales of its Jaguar Land Rover brand, which TATA purchased for USD 2.3 billion in 2008, stood at 35,162 in the month, a rise of 31% from a year earlier. Sales of its sleek Jaguar cars rose 77% to 7,174 vehicles and Land Rover sales were higher by 22% at 27,988 vehicles during the month.

  SAIL production in July '13 up by 3%

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) registered positive growth in steel production for the month of July’13 as compared to the same month last year (SMLY). Production of Saleable Steel at 1.08 million tonnes during the month was up by 3% over SMLY. Owing to SAIL's renewed focus on controlling internal costs, techno-economics parameters of production continued their upward trend with energy consumption and Blast Furnace productivity showing improvement of 1% and 2% respectively. SAIL's modernisation and expansion programme (MEP) continues to be implemented on high priority. Cumulative orders worth Rs 58,579 crore were placed and an expenditure of Rs 46,064 crore incurred until June’13.

  Crude Steel production grew 47% in July'13

JSW Steel Limited reports monthly Crude Steel production at 9.91 lacs tons showing growth of 47% in July'13 at its three manufacturing locations viz. Vijayanagar, Salem and Dolvi all together.

  Illegally stocked iron ore seized from Siddapur yard

Department of Mines and Geology recently confiscated large quantities of iron ore illegally hidden in a stockyard near Siddapur village in Sandur taluk. The ore belongs to Swastik Nagaraj of Hospet, a close aide of former minister Janardhana Reddy, presently in the CBI custody. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas said that the stockyard was raided by the officials of the Department of Mines and Geology a few weeks ago and as much as 35,000 tonnes of iron ore hidden in the Fabio Exports Stockyard, spread across 18 acres, was seized. The officials have been instructed to inspect the 55 illegal stockyards in the district and investigate if ore was hidden in a similar fashion in all these places. In fact, there is a reference to the illegal stocking of iron ore in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining in Bellary, submitted by Justice N Santosh Hegde. A member of the Central Empowered Committee, Dr U V Singh, had also inspected the stockyards, during his visits to Bellary. According to sources in the Mines and Geology Department, all those engaged in illegal mining are believed to have stocked ore illegally in stockyards. The recent raids have also raised eyebrows over how the officials of the Mines and Geology Department missed the huge mounds of ore during raids conducted at the same stock yard in 2009. A total of 75,000 tonnes of illegally stocked ore, which was later on sold through an e-tender process, had been seized then. Doubts have also been raised on why there was a delay in announcing the details of the raids. The CBI has instructed mining officials to gather information on the seized ore and also about the stockyard. A case pertaining to illegal stocking of ore and the violation of rules in seeking permission to begin the Fabio Exports Stockyard is pending before court.

  Steel companies focus on exports to benefit from weak rupee

With the rupee continuing with its free fall against the dollar, steel companies are redrawing their export strategies to make the most of windfall gains coming their way. In this new found thrust on exports, Indian steel makers are increasingly looking at markets in the Middle East & North Africa, South Asia and even Europe to beat low demand at home.
The fall in rupee will make imports costlier, thereby curbing the volume in next few months. This has brought some cheer to steel companies which are going through one of their most depressing phases. Mr CS Verma chairman of SAIL said that "Rupee depreciation has helped steel exports which have gone up in last few months.”
SAIL hopes to double exports to 7 lakh tonnes this year, up from 3.7 lakh tonne in 2012-13. Essar Steel, one of the largest steel exporters, hopes to raise exports by over 25% to 1.4 million tonne this year, up from 1.1 million tonne it did last year. A company official said that "We are exporting to Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, and even Europe.”
Mr Giriraj Daga analyst at Nirmal Bang Securities said that "Rupee depreciation, along with a weak domestic steel market and capacity expansions, is forcing steel producers to sell more abroad.” This year, steel exports crossed one million mark to touch 1.13 million tonne in what is a seasonally weak first quarter.

  OMC keeps iron ore fines rate Unchanged

Odisha Mining Corporation has kept iron ore fine rates unchanged for August to October period as strong global cues and sluggish local demand balanced the demand for the steel making commodity.
In its price setting tender, the traders had bid for similar rates for the fines as they did during May to July period. OMC has plans to sell about 800,000 tonne fines in the three month period ending October. The rate for Gandhamardana sector fines having 62 per cent Fe content now rules at Rs 2,060 per tonne, and for 54 to 60 grade fines, the rate is Rs 1,520 per tonne, same as the previous period. OMC has earmarked to sell about 450,000 tonne fines from this area.
A source said,”Gandhamardana fines has better demand generally as many plants from nearby districts have easy access to this area. But due to poor demand the rates did not rise this time.” For Daitari regions iron ore fines, the rates have slipped to INR 1,501 per tonne, lower than INR 1,681 a tonne earlier. Ore produced from this region is primarily meant for Neelachal Ispat, which produces specialized steel billets.

  RINL to develop its first captive iron ore mine in Rajasthan

Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited will develop its first captive iron ore mine in Rajasthan soon. Mr P Madhusudan director finance of RINL on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the Refractory Manufacturers' Association said, "We have received the letter of intent from the government for developing a low grade iron ore mine in Rajasthan.” He said the mine had a reserves potential of 230 million tonnes to 250 million tonnes spread over 900 hectares and RINL would shortly develop it. This would be the first captive mine of RINL RINL had applied for 26 mines across the country, of which four were in Andhra Pradesh.

  Focus on cost reduction - Mr AP Choudhary

Mr AP Choudhary CMD of RINL called upon the newly recruited Management Trainees to demonstrate the capabilities for enhancing the productivity with cost reduction in mind and added that working with dedication and commitment would lead to success of the organization and themselves. Mr Choudhary inaugurated the Induction & Orientation program of August 2013 batch of Management Trainees at VSP. Addressing the new trainees, Mr Choudhary said that RINL is a combination of several engineering industries in a Industry and advised the trainees to update the technological developments and knowledge on a continuous basis and asked them to work with innovative attitude for the growth of the organization. Sri Choudhary observed that excellent working climate is available in the plant and assured them a bright future as the plant is moving speedily to increase its capacity to 20 million tonne per annum in the near future at a single location. RINL is professionally managed and earning profits since more than a decade and emerging as a World Class Company soon, even though not having any captive mines. Mr YR Reddy director {personnel) of RINL said that Public Sectors are continuously playing a vital role in the development of the country and stressed the need to work with devotion, self discipline and development to achieve excellence. Plenty of growth opportunities are available in VSP once they work with commitment.

  Sojitz and L&T Consortium inks contract for Western Dedicated Freight Corridor Project

The Sojitz-L&T Consortium has signed an EPC rail contract with the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India for the construction of 626 km of a double track corridor from Rewari in Haryana to Iqbalgarh in Gujarat, via Rajasthan.
The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India is a special purpose vehicle of the Indian Railways and has awarded a part of India's largest and the first of its kind project in the rail sector Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, to a consortium of Sojitz Corporation, Japan and Larsen and Toubro.
The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (1483 km) will run from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai to Tughlakabad and Dadri near Delhi, passing through Haryana and Rajasthan. It would cater largely to the container transport requirements between existing and emerging ports in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The engineering, procurement and construction order secured by the Sojitz-L&T Consortium involves construction of 626 km of a double track corridor from Rewari in Haryana to Iqbalgarh in Gujarat, via Rajasthan, spanning three states. The consortium's scope includes construction of 1388 track km of railway line, 112 major bridges, 1188 minor bridges, 20 stations along with supply of equipment. The project will be executed using mechanized means of sleepers and track lining machines using the latest technology in railway construction. Adopting advanced construction technologies, the consortium is expected to complete the project in 48 months.

  SBI CMD held discussions with RINL CMD

Ms VR Iyer CMD of Bank of India along with senior officials of the Bank Mr Swamynatha Iyer Narasimhan & Mr Charan Singh, GM held discussions with Mr AP Choudhary, CMD, RINL & Mr P Madhusudan, Director (Finance) on various banking requirements of RINL.
Mr AP Choudhary briefed Ms Iyer on performance and growth plans of RINL Ms Iyer appreciated the track record and growth plans of RINL.
She offered to participate in the growth plans of RINL by offering various financing and other banking facilities. Mr Choudhary stated that RINL would take the support of Bank of India for meeting its Capital Expenditure program and also for the working capital requirements of the Company.
A JSPL spokesperson said that "We want to increase exports to 15% of our increased production base in 2013-14. We see huge opportunities for export, particularly in Middle East & North Africa.”

  Mr BVN Rao resigns as MD from GMR Infrastructure

Mr BVN Rao has resigned as the MD of GMR Infrastructure Ltd with effect from closure of the working hours on July 27th 2013. He will continue as a Director on the Board of Directors. Mr Kiran Kumar Grandhi has been appointed as MD of the company from July 28th 2013.

  India takes steps to make Ultra Mega Steel Plants a reality

Prime minister Mr Manmohan Singh led National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council has entrusted iron ore maker NMDC with the task of creating the basic infrastructure for the first ultra mega steel plant with 12 million tonne per annum capacity. NMDC, however, would not have any stake in the project and its role is restricted to creating the infrastructure and offering it to steel producers on competitive basis. The sources said that “NMDC would procure land, get clearances like environment and forest approvals ensure raw material linkage among other things. The miner would be allowed to be a part of the mining project which would be mainly linked with the steel plant.” The plan, which is aimed at removing hurdles that private sector steel makers face in creating additional capacity, is a step in the direction to achieve 300 million tonne capacity by 2025, a target recently set by the Prime Minister led panel. It is also expected to help India regain its image of an investment friendly country. It may be noted that South Korean Posco and world's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal had recently scrapped their big ticket investment plans citing inordinate delays in getting clearances.
Sources said that NMDC Board has also approved the proposal. The miner is likely to start the job at the site of its now discarded joint venture project with Severstal in Karnataka. NMDC had in 2010 signed a deal to form a joint venture with the Russian steel maker to set up a 3 million tonne per annum steel plant. It is already in possession of some parcel of land, besides clearances from the environment and forest departments.
The iron ore miner may tie up with Industrial Development Corporation of other states in the coming days for forming such special purpose vehicles that would create the infrastructure for such ultra mega steel plants. This would help the SPV to secure land and create other necessary infrastructure without facing much hurdles. Besides, ArcelorMittal, POSCO and Monnet Ispat pull outs, at least 85 million tonne capacity creation has been delayed for want of water, environment and forest clearances. Non availability of the land is the primary hurdle though. Sources said that these SPVs would be assigned the task of identifying land sites and prepare master plan for such ultra mega steel projects. A source said that "The preferred mode of land acquisition would be through outright purchase from landlords. The SPVs would also be responsible for making necessary arrangements for land, water linkage, raw material linkage and all statutory clearances. These SPVs may be recognized as PSUs. Once the clearances and linkages are in place, the shell companies would be offered to project developers in a transparent way for putting up steel plants." The source added that “Iron ore mines may be allowed to be operated by the lease holding company with the condition that the raw material from the mine would be for the project concerned and only surplus iron ore may be supplied to others after meeting requirement of the project.”

  Essar Steel to raise INR 2241 crore by selling non core assets

Essar Steel aims to raise a minimum of INR 2,241 crore by selling 3 non core assets for paring some of its USD 4 billion debt and reducing the strain on its balance sheet. The Ruias promoted leading steelmaker has convened an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on, August 24th seeking their approval. The move was necessitated due to 2.22 times rise in Essar's standalone net loss in the last fiscal to INR 2,785 crore. Its interest payments had also risen by nearly 41% to INR 3,140 crore, while total expenditure, at INR 15,079 crore, had overshot its total income at INR 15,038 crore. The company said in its notice for the EGM that "In order to improve liquidity, reduce debt burden and to focus on the core business area, a financing plan has been worked out. Under this plan it is proposed to sell out or otherwise transfer some of the undertakings / assets /projects to strategic investor/SPV company on going concern basis.” Simultaneously, the company will sign long term supply/ service agreement with the buyer to ensure smooth functioning of operations. According to the plan, Essar is in advanced stage of negotiations with Inox Air Products to sell one its undertaking which is in the business of production of oxygen, nitrogen and argon etc for captive supply of company's needs at its Hazira plant for not less than INR 800 crore.It is also planning to sell 1.53 million tonne per annum under construction coke oven plant project and 253 km long Odisha slurry pipeline project between Dabuna and Paradeep for not being lower than book value.
The book values of coke oven plant and slurry pipeline are INR 642.05 crore and INR 799.82 crore respectively. A company spokesperson said that these are none core assets to steel making and forms insignificant part of the total assets of the company.

  SAIL on an expansion spree

Bankers are known to be good negotiators, and it's logical to expect their progeny to follow in those conciliatory footsteps. Mr Chandra Shekhar Verma chairman of SAIL, grew up in Rajasthan where his father was a bank manager for Punjab National Bank. Soon after taking up the chairmanship of SAIL in June 2010, Mr Verma found himself having to rely on his bequeathed instincts, he had the rather delicate task of downgrading the heads of the 4 large steel plants of SAIL from MD to CEO without a membership of the board. Mr Verma said, "It was an issue of prestige. As managing directors, they were almost independent and reporting to the board." He succeeded in getting them to accept a downgrade from managing director to CEO by throwing in a few carrots for instance, they were given the status of permanent invitees to the board, which meant they could attend board meetings whenever they liked. Of course they wouldn't enjoy all the other rights that directors on boards do, like voting for instance.
The redesignations helped SAIL prune its board strength from 24 to 18 it is down to 17. They also allowed Mr Verma to induct the operational heads for raw materials and projects on the board.It was indeed a baptism by fire for Mr Verma, who had been CFO at Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd before he took over as the helmsman at SAIL. But it's paved the way for some more hard-nosed negotiations. At a time when Posco has been hitting the headlines for pulling out of one project and still not completely decided on its biggest bet in India, a third one, a JV with SAIL hangs in the balance. The Korean steelmaker has a memorandum of understanding with SAIL to set up a 3 million tonne per annum steelmaking facility in Bokaro.
Mr Verma said while Posco is keen on a majority holding in the JV, he is doggedly trying to make a 50-50 situation work but the imponderables are many. Posco's shaky financial position and its determination to make the Orissa project work may make the SAIL JV inconsequential. However, if it does have second thoughts on its huge exposure to India via Orissa which is a USD 12 billion project, Posco SAIL suddenly doesn't look unrealistic.
Thanks to his position as CFO of Bhel, the steelmaker and its men were not unknown to Verma. As a customer, in the past, he had often spent time negotiating with the men he is leading now. To build new bridges, once he came on board SAIL he went one step further and gave out his mobile number and email ID to anyone in SAIL who would care to have it. Mr Verma said that "I welcome feedback from all employees. When I visit the plants, I work late and try to meet everyone who is waiting to meet me.”

  Uttam Galva Steel to surrender its two SEZs in Maharashtra

Uttam Galva Steel has approached the government to surrender its two special economic zones in Maharashtra. The company's request will be considered by the 19 member Board of Approval chaired by Commerce Secretary Mr SR Rao, in its meeting on August 30. The developer had planned two sector specific SEZs for IT/ITES in Raigad, Maharashtra. The zones were notified by the government on 12th March, 2009 and 19th June 2009. For both the de-notifications, the developer has cited the reason of "general recession in biotechnology sector and local disadvantage.”SEZs, which were once looked upon as major vehicles for investment and export promotion, started losing sheen after the global meltdown and imposition of minimum alternate tax and dividend distribution tax. However, the government has recently announced an incentive package including relaxation in minimum land requirement to revive interest of investors in the SEZs. The minimum land area requirement for setting up of tax free zones was reduced to half and for IT and ITeS SEZs, the government has ended the ceiling. As part of exit policy for the SEZs, it has been decided to allow transfer of ownership and sale of SEZs units. As many as 58 special economic zone developers have surrendered their projects due to various reasons, including global economic slowdown and changed fiscal incentive regime till 31 July.

  Bajaj Steel Q1 loss reduces to INR 2.42 cr

Bajaj Steel Industries Ltd has announced the Financial Results for the period ended June 30th 2013. The company has reported Net Sales / Income from Operations of INR 47.48 crores for the quarter ended June 30th 2013 against INR 41.63 crores for the quarter ended June 30th 2012. The Net Profit / (Loss) was at INR 2.42 crores for the quarter ended June 30th 2013 against INR 4.01 crores for the quarter ended June 30th 2012.

  OCL Iron and Steel Ltd Q1 profit down

OCL Iron and Steel Ltd has announced the financial results for the period ended June 30, 2013. The company has reported Net Sales / Income from Operations of INR 112.38 crores for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 against INR 74.38 crores for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.
The Net Profit / (Loss) was at INR 0.46 crores for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 against INR 1.66 crores for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.

  Punjab and Haryana steel makers stop scrap import due to week rupee

The unprecedented weakening of rupee against US dollar has deeply hurt the import and export trade in Punjab and Haryana, with steel makers announcing halt to scrap imports for iron and steel production.
Exporters, on the other hand, are facing cancellation of orders by foreign buyers in view of rupee value erosion. Blaming the Centre for its failure in arresting the free fall of rupee, traders asked the government to take concrete and effective measures including fixing currency rates in order to save their businesses. Northern India Induction Furnace Association, President, Mr KK Garg said , "We have stopped importing high melting scarp from other countries as it has become unviable for us to import in the wake of sharp depreciation of rupee.”
Steel makers pointed out that their import bill for scrap had shot up enormously causing huge losses. He said , "I have suffered a loss of INR 40 lakh while importing scrap because I booked an order when rupee was INR 55 and now I have to make payment at a rate of INR 63.50 for a US dollar.”
According to industry insiders, the production of iron and steel products has also come down by 60 to 65% in state's iron and steel hub Mandi Gobindgarh, Khanna and Ludhiana. Punjab's secondary steel makers are completely dependent on HMS for their input requirements and they source it from various countries including Europe, UK, USA and Middle East for using it as input to produce secondary steel. In Punjab, over 200 induction and arc furnaces import about 2 lakh tonne of scrap every month to convert into iron and steel.

  Metal and mining stocks surge on Goa ban lift

Shares of the metals and mining companies rose sharply after it was reported that the government is contemplating lifting the ban on mining in Goa. This along with improved Chinese data in the last few days have improved the sentiment on the sector, which has significantly under performed in the year till date.
Mr Seshagiri Rao joint MD and group CFO of JSW Steel said ,"Sectors are globally driven and metal stocks also reflect global signs. For the steel sector, the only positive news is that inventory levels are going down in China, the government is pumping more money, banking norms are being changed to allow more lending and steps are being taken to increase consumption in China.”
He said , "The other point to note is that steel input prices too are firming up. Iron ore prices have moved up to USD 142 per tonne before climbing down to USD 137 to 138 levels and coke prices too have risen by almost USD 3 to 4 per tonne. The fact that Europe has bottomed out and Japan's economy is improving have also added to the positive sentiment. The lead indicators are positive. However, it remains to be seen whether this will lead to a complete revival in the sector or not.”
Among the top gainers on the stock market were some of the Vedanta group companies that have business exposure to Goa. Sesa Goa, Sterlite and Hindustan Zinc, each gained around 10 to 16%, while the Nifty closed below its previous day's close.
Mr Bhavesh Chauhan, a metals analyst with Angel Broking said ,"The rise in these stocks was further supported by the fact that in case of a stake sale in Hindustan Zinc by the government, the Vedanta group will be able to increase its holdings and the cash with Hindustan Zinc will become fungible to Sterlite Industries which has a high debt." Currently, the Vedanta Group owns 65% stake in Hindustan Zinc, while the government owns 30%.

  TATA Steel adjudged the best performing Integrated Steel Plant for 2011-12

TATA Steel has been adjudged the Best Performing Integrated Steel Plant in the country for the year 2011-12 based on the recommendations made by a Panel of Judges that selected companies for the Prime Minister`s Trophy awards for the year 2011-12.
Based on the recommendations, the Government of India has decided to award the Certificate of Excellence to TATA Steel as per the scheme for the Prime Minister's Trophy for 2011-12.
With this, TATA Steel has scored maximum marks in overall performance for the fourth consecutive year. The date of the award function for 2011-12 will be announced by the Union Ministry of Steel at a future date.
Mr DRS Chaudhary secretary, ministry of steel government of India, in a letter to the Managing Director of TATA, Mr H M Nerurkar said, "I congratulate the management and employees of TATA Steel for the excellent work done. I am sure this award will greatly motivate the Tata Steel collective and spur them on to create several new benchmarks in efficiency and productivity which will serve as an inspiration to others.”
The Company went through several rounds of rigorous assessments during the entire evaluation process for the prestigious award. The enthusiasm and involvement of the Company employees during the entire process of assessment was highly appreciated by the Panel of Judges for the Prime Minister's Trophy.

  Supply of poor quality iron ore hits steel producers in Karnataka

Steel manufacturers in Karnataka have been witnessing a sharp rise in cost of operations, owing to the supply of poor quality iron ore.
The supply of low grade and sub grade iron ore has also resulted in higher consumption of coke in steel making, as well as affecting the life of their blast furnaces, leading to frequent maintenance shutdowns.
JSW Steel Limited and Kalyani Steels, which operate their plants in Karnataka's mineral-rich Bellary district, have shut their blast furnaces many times in the past year due to poor quality ore. Their consumption of fuel has gone up by 20% while slag output has gone up 42%, thereby causing losses to steel makers.
Mr Seshagiri Rao, joint MD and group CFO of JSW said , “We have been witnessing a productivity loss of 20% over the last couple of years due to poor quality ore in our blast furnaces. We have been operating at 80% capacity and the total net loss is INR 3,000 crore annually. JSW Steel imports coal and converts it into coke before using it in steel manufacturing. The company is incurring an additional cost of INR 1,500 crore on the import of coal.”
Mr Rao said, “Overall, we are losing an average INR 7,000 crore in revenues annually, while the loss to the state and national exchequer is in the order of INR 1,500 crore in the form of excise duty, value added tax and service tax.” JSW Steel operates a 10 million tonne per annum steel plant at Toranagallu in Bellary district. It has 2 Corex furnaces and 4 blast furnaces at its plant in Bellary. Annually, the company is losing an average two million tonnes of steel production due to poor quality iron ore.
Currently, iron ore with Fe content of less than 60% is auctioned in Karnataka. As the production of iron ore is yet to be normalized, steel companies are forced to depend on low grade and sub grade iron ore. While JSW Steel beneficiates low grade ore and uses it for steel making, there are many other steel makers like Kalyani Steel that are forced to use low grade ore or operate at less capacities.
Mr R K Goyal, MD of Kalyani Steel said , “We require 100,000 tonne of iron ore every month but we are getting only 60,000 tonne of fines with less than 60% Fe. The ore supplied in Karnataka contains very high levels of up to 7% Alumina. As a result of this, our consumption of coke has gone up significantly by 17%. Also, the slag output has increased. As we do not have benefication facility, we are forced to use low grade ore. In the last 3 to 4 months, we have undertaken a complete shutdown of our blast furnace to change copper plates, which were burnt completely.” Kalyani's consumption of coke has increased to 630 kg as against 540 kg when it was getting iron ore with 63% Fe. Now, the company is forced to use iron ore with 60% Fe. Kalyani Steel operates a 700,000 tonne per annum steel plant at Hospet in Bellary district.
JSW Steel is buying sub grade iron ore at e auctions and enriching it at its plant in Toranagallu. Mr Rao said ,“The recovery of steel is hardly 30 to 40% in subgrade ore. We have to use 2.5 tonne of iron ore for making one tonne of steel as against the normal ratio of 1.6 tonne for every tonne of steel. Also, the alumina content is as high as 15% in this ore, which results in very high output of slag. Overall, our productivity has declined by 20% in Karnataka.”

  SAIL spends INR 42101 crore CAPEX till July

Steel Authority of India has incurred INR 42,101 crore expenditure till July this year out of its proposed INR 61,870 crore investment for capacity expansion during the current phase.
Steel minister Mr Beni Prasad Verma, in a written reply to Lok Sabha said that SAIL has spent INR 9,918 crore in Bhilai, INR 9,679 crore in Rourkela, INR 1,691 crore in Durgapur facility, INR 3,662 crore in Bokatro plant and INR 14,890 crore in its IISCO plant in Burnpur and INR 2,261 crore in Salem plant.
SAIL is investing INR 61,870 crore on modernization and expansion of its existing facilities to increase crude steel production capacity to 21.4 million tonne per annum from 12.8 million tonne per annum now. Mr Verma said , “Expansion of Salem steel plant of SAIL has been completed in September, 2010. For other plants, efforts are being made to complete progressively by 2014. RINL is also presently expanding its capacity of liquid steel against which the new blast furnace, oxygen plant, power and water system have been commissioned and are under operation. Other major units are being commissioned during the current fiscal.” Rashtriya Ispat Nigam is also expanding its crude steel making capacity to 6.3 million tonne per annum from 3 million tonne per annum now with INR 12,291 cropre investment.
Mr Verma said that implementation of modernization and expansion plans of both the steel firms have been delayed due to unforeseen soil conditions encountered, logistics problems due to brownfield nature of job and lack of deployment of technically competent manpower by the contractors.

  NMDC to set up power plant at Gonda

Making its maiden venture into thermal power generation, state owned iron ore miner NMDC will set up a 500 MW power plant at UP's Gonda.
The company would invest about INR 3,016 crore on the project and has roped in IL&FS Energy Development Company as a partner for the project, giving it a 74% stake. Both the companies would sign a memorandum of understanding for the project here tomorrow.
Gonda is the Parliamentary constituency of Steel Minister Mr Beni Prasad Verma and NMDC comes under his ministry.
The power plant will consist of two units of 250 MW and about 300 to 350 MW electricity will be used at NMDC's upcoming 3 million tonne steel mill in Chhattisgarh's Nagarnar, which is more than 1,100 km away from Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.
The plant will be spread over a total area of 600 acres in Turkadih in the Gonda District, sources further said adding that balance 150 to 200 MW power from the plant would be used for plugging the demand-supply gap of the state.
NMDC Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of NMDC, will hold remaining 26% stake on behalf of the iron ore miner in the project.
NMDC is hoping to secure the statutory clearances well in time for the project as all construction activities will be confined within the plant premises and there will not be any physical change outside the project boundary in terms of existing land, vegetation and buildings.
The power plant would require either 1.988 million tonne per annum at 85% PLF or 2.10 million tonne per annum at 90% PLF, depending on the efficiency of the plant.
For the project, NMDC is planning to source E/F grade coal from Northern Coalfields Ltd, a subsidiary of Coal India. It may also supply C grade coal, which contains higher calorific value, from its Shahpur East and West coal blocks in Madhya Pradesh.