blue   New Coal Dust Injection Facility at RSP
    Chairman SAIL, CS Verma, who is on a visit to the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), witnessed the operationalization of the new Coal Dust Injection (CDI) facility at the 4060 cubic meter Blast Furnace and the 3rd Turbo blower in the Power Blowing Station (PBS) on recently. The CDI unit will reduce the cost of production in the largest Blast Furnace in the country at RSP by injecting non-coking coal for reducing coke rate. Director (Technical) SS Mohanty, Director (Projects & Business Planning) TS Suresh and CEO, RSP GS Prasad was also present on the occasion.
These units are part of the massive Rs. 12,000 crore modernization and expansion project which would more than double RSP's capacity from 2.0 Mtpa of crude steel to 4.2 Mtpa. Major units like the 360 sqm Sinter Plant, 7 m tall Coke Oven Battery with Coke Dry Quenching Facility, 4060 cum Blast Furnace and 2500 mm wide slab caster under this modernization and expansion plan have already been operationalized.
The balance major facilities like the 3rd 150t BOF and the 1.0 Mtpa 4.3 m wide Plate Mill are going to commence production by May'14.
Verma, while congratulating the RSP collective for commencing operations in the new units emphasized the need for quick ramping up of production to rated capacities for deriving the desired benefits of the massive investments.
blue   SKF India Registers Sales of INR 5703 Mn in Q1 2014
    The Net Sales for the first quarter ended March 2014 of SKF India was amounted to INR 5703 million registering a growth of 8% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year though lower by 4% as compared to the immediately preceding quarter.
The Profit before tax for the first quarter ended March 31 amounted to INR 750 million registering a growth of 20% (excluding exceptional items) over the corresponding quarter of the previous year and 2% over the immediately preceding quarter.
Recently the Board of Directors of SKF India Limited, India's leading technology and solutions provider of bearings, seals, lubrication systems, mechatronics and services, today approved the unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31st, 2014.
Commenting on the occasion, Shishir Joshipura, Managing Director, SKF India said, “The quarter witnessed continued challenge of growth across the entire spectrum of industry amidst an unchanged economic environment. Continuing with our efforts of forging deeper ties with existing customers and reaching out to new customers offering enhanced delivered value with continued focus on improving our operations enabled us to deliver an improved performance and consolidate our leadership position.”
blue   Bhushan Steel Starts BF 2 at Meramandali Plant
    It is learnt that Bhushan Steel Limited, which had got the green signal to start a blast furnace in Meramandali plant from the Odisha Pollution Control Board on April 24th, has recommenced production recently.
Bhushan Steel Limited had started the process of operation of blast furnace No 2 after getting green signal from OPCB. The production has already reached 9500 tonne per day and is expected to climb to designed capacity of 13500 tonne per day in coming times. After full ramp up, BF 2 will add 3 million tonne of hot metal per year. The other BF No1, which is operational for last 3 years has the hot metal capacity of 2 million tonne per annum. And with restart of BF 2, the hot metal capacity of Bhushan Steel Limited at Meramandali plant would climb to 5 million tonne. It is also learnt that BSL has recently started a new facility for producing about 300,000 tonne of CRCA. A new Pre Painted and a new Galvanizing line is also under commissioning at Bhushan Steel's CRM complex at in Meramandali plant. The CR complex is already running 2 galvanizing lines.
blue   SAIL begins Financial Year with Double-digit Growth in Sales
    Steel Authority of India Limited has registered a growth of 14 % in sales in the month of April 2014, with 8.1 lakh tonnes sales, including 66% increase in exports as compared to April 2013. Hot metal production at 1.22 million tonnes was up by 6 % and crude steel production at 1.14 million tonnes was up by 4 % over SMLY. Chairman, SAIL C.S.Verma stated, "April performance gives us confidence that SAIL will attain a double-digit growth level both in production and sales in 2014-15. In fact, SAIL will play a key role in India becoming the 2 nd largest steel producing country in the world in coming years.”
blue   India's April Steel Production Growth Outpaces World Average
    India produced 7.015 MT steel in April, compared to 6.659 MT in the same month last year. Cumulative production grew by 2.5 percent in the first four months of this year to 27.766 MT, from 27.080 MT the year-ago period, WSA data showed.
India's steel production grew by 5.3 % in April outpacing the world's average growth of 1.7%, World Steel Association (WSA) said. India produced 7.015 MT steel in April, compared to 6.659 MT in the same month last year. Cumulative production grew by 2.5% in the first four months of this year to 27.766 MT, from 27.080 MT the year-ago period, WSA data showed.
Global steel output stood at 136.62 MT in April compared to 134.346 MT in the same month last year. China contributed half of the total global production at 68.8 MT.
Chinese production grew by 2.1 percent over the same month last year. Japan produced 8.9 MT in April, a decrease of 2.5 percent over April 2013. South Korea produced 6.1 MT. Among the European Union nations, Germany produced 3.7 MT, Italy 2 MT, France 1.4 MT, Spain 1.2 MT and Turkey 2.6 MT.
Russia produced 5.8 MT, an increase of 0.7% over the same month last year. Ukraine's production was 2.6 MT. Recording a dip of 1.6%, the US produced 7 MT. Brazil's production also fell by 5.1% to 2.8 MT. "The crude steel capacity utilisation ratio in April was 78.7%," WSA said.
blue   Tata Steel Q4 Results Blow Past Estimates
    Tata Steel Ltd said a phase of solid economic growth in Europe was supporting a recovery in steel demand in its main market, which also helped the company post results that easily beat analysts' estimates in the March quarter.
The strong showing in Europe would come as a relief to the company's new management, which has intensified cost cuts and focused on high-margin products to cope with softness in the region's economy.
Tata Steel got a foothold in Europe through its $13 billion acquisition of Britain's Corus in 2007.
"Europe appears to be entering a phase of solid economic growth, which is supporting a recovery in steel demand," said Karl-Ulrich Köhler, chief executive of Tata Steel in Europe, which is also its biggest production centre. But EU steel use will remain at low levels historically against a background of continuing global overcapacity."
ArcelorMittal the world's top steelmaker, said last week that prospects for Europe and the United States were encouraging and it was cautiously optimistic for the rest of 2014. The recovery in euro zone manufacturing accelerated at the start of the second quarter with solid growth across most of the bloc.
Tata Steel's bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit was also helped by product launches in Europe throughout the year, 30 in total. The volume of new products sold in the region rose more than 75 percent in 2013/14 compared with a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Net income hit a three-quarter high of 10.36 billion rupees ($173 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with a year-ago loss. Net sales jumped 23% to 420.18 billion rupees.
blue   Long Steel Export Growth in India Outpaces Flat Steel in 2013-14
    Indian mills went for export thrust last year taking umbrage of weak INR and surplus volumes amidst slow domestic demand. However contrary to belief export growth was resounding in long steel at 54%, whereas flat steel export growth was meager 6%. India exported 5.067 million tonnes of non alloy steel in April-Feb'14, 17% growth over April-Feb'13. Long steel export increased from 0.402 million to 0.618 MT in the same period. In long steel maximum growth was in rebar and rods at 60% followed by 15% growth in structural. In flat steel the maximum growth was in CR coils/sheets at 36% followed by 32% in Tin plates and HRC coils/strips by 16%. Most remarkable growth story was in billet by 249% at 0.426 million from 0.122 million in the same period. It has primarily got to do with massive upstream capacity expansion by SAIL.
blue   Sunflag Iron & Steel Quarterly Earnings Fall 22.78%
    Sunflag Iron & Steel Company steep drop in standalone net profit for the quarter ended March 2014. During the quarter, the profit of the company declined 22.78% to INR 111.50 million from INR 144.40 million in the same quarter previous year.
Net sales for the quarter rose 19.84% to INR 4,553.80 million, compared with INR 3,800 million for the prior year period.
blue   JSW Steel Tries Out Low-quality Iron Ore from Goa
    JSW Steel Ltd has bought 11,484 tonnes of low-quality iron ore from Goa, government data showed, a sign that steelmakers are exploring other options after the temporary closure of some mines in Odisha as reported by Reuters.
Goa has traditionally exported most of its iron ore to China as local steel mills preferred using higher-quality ores. Mining bans in some states, however, have forced them to use grades with less iron, which might now help them cope with the mine closures in top iron-ore producer Odisha
JSW could use the Goa ore in its 3.3 million-tonne-per-year coastal plant in the neighbouring state of Maharashtra, an industry source said. The ore was bought for 1,830-1,970 rupees ($31-$33) per tonne - the usual price for Goan ore, the source added.
JSW's purchase was its first from Goa state in many years. A company spokesman declined comment on the auction data, which came out over the weekend. The purchase by JSW is a fraction of about 15 Mt of ore that had sat in a stockpile in Goa and which was ordered to be auctioned off by the Supreme Court late last year.
Kalyani Steels and Kirloskar Ferrous Industries are also keen to start using iron ore from Goa, their top executives have said.
The Supreme Court last month lifted a 19-month old ban on mining in Goa, India's top iron ore-exporting state, but capped annual output at 20 million tonnes.
blue   Panel Seeks Report on ArcelorMittal Mine Leases from Jharkhand
A central panel has asked Jharkhand to clarify soon whether the existing and proposed mining leases of ArcelorMittal for its planned Rs 50,000-crore plant in the state fell under a conservation reserve or not.
The development comes in the wake of a Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) examining the application of world's largest steel maker for diversion of 202 hectares of reserved forest area in its favour for iron ore and manganese mining in Saranda forest division in West iron ore and manganese mining in Saranda forest division in West Singhbhum district.
The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of MoEF has recommended: "The state government should clearly state whether the forest area falling in this lease is outside the conservation reserve or not as per the IWMP (Integrated Wildlife Management Plan).
ArcelorMittal has plans to set up 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) steel plant in Jharkhand at an estimated investment of Rs 50,000 crore. The proposal is stuck for over eight years now for want of regulatory clearances and land acquisition. "State government of Jharkhand should be requested to expedite finalisation of the IWMP and clarify its stand about the status of forest land falling inside the proposed lease vis a vis draft IWMP," the FAC said.
Earlier, the panel had sought comments of the Chief Wild Life Warden (CWLW) on the status of the proposed mining lease and IWMP being finalised by the state government in January this year.
However, as per the minutes of the FAC, "No comments have been furnished by the CWLW on the status of the proposed mining lease vis a vis IWMP". An expert committee of the MoEF has also brought to the notice of the FAC that a floral and faunal study in and around the mining lease is being carried out by NIT Rourkela which will also be placed before the FAC. Last month, a Steel Ministry panel has also asked its Coal counterpart to expedite process to grant approval to the mining plan of a coal block in Jharkhand alloted to steel giant.
“Steel Secretary G Mohan Kumar has asked the Coal Ministry to expedite the matter of approval of mining plan for Seregarha coal block of ArcelorMittal," a Steel Ministry official said. In July last year, ArcelorMittal had scrapped its proposed Rs 50,000 crore Odisha project, tipped as one of the biggest foreign investment proposals, due to inordinate problems in acquiring land and securing iron ore linkages. The steel giant had, however, said that it continued to pursue Jharkhand and Karnataka projects with progress on land acquisition and raw material security front.
blue   National Conference on Polymers Composites & New Age Materials Concluded
    To address the usage of advanced, high performance composites used in making vehicles lighter, safer and more fuel-efficient in synch with the existing global standards, the Auto Components Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) organised a National Conference on Polymer Composites & New Age Materials.
In his inaugural address Mr Ambuj Sharma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises said, “Polymer Composites today have found ways to move beyond, what may be termed as 'traditional applications', in the automotive industry. Such materials are not only finding usage in the conventional interiors and exteriors of the vehicle but are also being considered ideal for a range of specialty applications.
However, he added, there is an immediate need for the industry to seize business opportunities both in the domestic market and those available overseas. Further, the industry must proactively scale-up operations, invest in R&D and further up-grade technology matching the existing global standards.”
While Shradha Suri Marwah, Chairperson, Raw Materials Committee, ACMA & Managing Director, Subros said, “Plastics, elastomer materials and polymer fibres have made their way into the Indian automotive sector by playing an important role in enhancing the vehicle performance. ACMA continuously endeavours to educate members on new developments in material applications. The conference on polymer composites is a step further in this direction.
The conference focused on new age materials like Poly-olefins, special polypropylene composites, long fiber composites, thermoplastic composites and engineering plastics. Speakers represented some of the key material supplying companies like DSM, DuPont, Essem Polyalloys, Indian Oil Corporation, SABIC, Styrolution ABS and TIPCO.
The Indian composite industry is pegged at Rs 15,000 crore and is expected to grow at 15 per cent per annum over the next four years. Given its array of applications polymers composites are increasingly being explored for newer applications to make vehicles lighter and fuel efficient.
blue   Essar Steel to Ramp Up Production to 7 MT in FY-15
    Essar Steel hopes to be profitable by 2014 to 2015 as the company is in the process of ramping up its capacity utilisation to 7 MT. The company is producing around 5 million tonne of steel in Hazira and plans to ramp up its capacity to 7 million tonne in 2014 to 2015.
Dilip Oommen CEO and MD of Essar Steel said “We hope that current financial year will be better than last year with higher domestic steel demand and the steel firm aims to increase its capacity utilisation levels this fiscal. With increase in our production capacity and focus on value added products, we hope to be profitable this financial year.”
Essar Steel has also invested around INR 4,200 crore to set up an integrated facility in Odihsa that includes a 12 million tonne per annum iron ore beneficiation plant at Dabuna and a 253 kilometer slurry pipe line connecting Dabuna and Paradip. This will allow it to make use of easily available low-grade ore by converting it into concentrated pellets that are molten to produce steel in a furnace.
Oommen said, “The slurry pipeline in Odhisa will be operational in the next three months and our freight costs will be nil which would be a significant savings for the company. Further the company plans to reduce its debt as it hopes demand to pick up post elections in the domestic market. The company also plans to increase exports in 2014 to 2015.”
He said “Essar Steel which has a total debt of around INR 26,000 crore, will also increase its focus on exports in the present financial year by taking it to 30% of the total sales from present 25%. The group also hopes to raise USD 2 billion from overseas by the end of Q1 of the present financial year, to retire rupee debt, which will help the company to reduce its interest outgo.”
Mahadev Iyer, director of finance and CFO of Essar Steel, said that “We hope to complete the raising of USD 2 billion loan from overseas market by June, to replace costly domestic debt and reduce our interest costs.”
He further added “The conversion of rupee loans into dollar will also increase the tenor of repayment to an average of around 10 years. The savings on interest outgo would be around INR 1,200 crore annually and the average interest cost would also come down to 6% to 7% from 12% after the completion of this process.”
blue   JSW Steel's Production Up 14% in April
    JSW Steel on recently reported a 14 per cent rise in its crude steel production for the month of April at 9.9 lakh tonnes (LT).
The company, which has around 143 LT installed production capacity now, had produced 8.67 LT crude steel in the same month last year, it said in a statement.
Production of flat products grew by 14 per cent to 7.76 LT compared to 6.8 LT a year earlier. Long products' production rose by 28% to 1.64 LT from 1.28 LT a year ago. Long products are mainly used in the construction sector. Flat products find application in automotive and industrial segments. JSW Steel produced 121.7 LT crude steel in the entire 2013-14 fiscal and 31.5 LT in January-March quarter.
blue KIOCL March Quarter Net Quadruples to INR 96 Crore
    KIOCL reports quadrupling of net profit in January to March quarter to INR 96.28 crore on higher sales.
The Bangalore based firm had clocked INR 24.16 crore net profit during the same quarter previous fiscal. Sales grew by 137.37% to INR 340.82 crore in the quarter ended March 2014 as against INR 143.58 crore during the previous quarter ended March 2013.
Malay Chatterjee CMD of KIOCL has urged Karnataka government to come forward in helping the company by allotting a mine expeditiously. This, according to him, will make the company sustainable and also create more employment avenues for the state.
He said that "Efforts are being made to tap new markets. A high level delegation visited Iran to open up business opportunities of direct trading of pellets in rupee mechanism. If everything materialises, KIOCL will be shortly dispatching pellets to two Iranian companies."
    This section is a compilation from various company press releases, business dailies &
trade publications.