NINL Seeks Strategic Partner; To Invite EoIs Next Month

Bhubaneswar, Sept 28 | Updated: Sep 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
Nilachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL), the steel company promoted by star trading house, MMTC Ltd, in collaboration with Orissa government is all set to invite offers for selecting a strategic partner for the company.

"Expressions of interest (EoIs) would be invited from the interested investors by next month," top executives of the company told FE. NINL-appointed consultant AF Ferguson has already prepared the draft document of the EoI, the officials said.

NINL, which has completed the first phase of the steel project with facilities for production of pig iron, is looking for a strategic partner to go for steel-making facilities in the second phase. The company is proposing to set up a steel melting shop (SMS) and a rolling mill with facilities for the production of wire rod and rod. The second phase would entail an investment of about Rs 700 crore. NINL is preparing itself to start the project work some time in August/September 2004. The second phase of the project would take about three years time for completion.

In fact, there is a scramble among top steel companies of the country to join NINL for undertaking the second phase of the project. Big corporate houses like Tata Iron & Steel Company (Tisco), Jindal Steels, Bhusan Steels, Murugappa Group of South India are keen to invest in the project.

Meanwhile, the Vizag-based central-sector steel company, Rastriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), has made some advances to invest in NINL. Its board has already passed a resolution for investment of Rs 500 crore in the Orissa steel company. RINL has sought time from the Union steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan for a presentation on the decision to invest in NINL.

The promoters of NINL are also working for the merger of the 1.1 million tonne steel company NINL and the six lakh tonne metallurgical coke company, Konark Met Coke Ltd (KMCL). They have gone to the Orissa high court seeking permission for the merger. AF Ferguson, the global consultancy firm will advise NINL on the merger of the sister concern KMLC with the mother company.