Government-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has decided to set up 10 more steel-processing units across the country, once its expansion programme of ramping up hot metal capacity from the present 14 million tonne (mt) to 24 mt per annum is completed by 2013.
Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma told FE that the SAIL board has in principle cleared the proposal of setting up 10 more units across the country, though nothing about the size and investment has been decided as yet.
?But I have reported to Parliament about the places where we plan to set up the units,? Verma said. The units are likely to come up at Bettaiah, Mohran and Gaya in Bihar, Lakhimpur in Uttar Pradesh, Guwahati in Assam, Kangra in Himachal Pradesh and Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir.
? This is part of our long-term plan but our immediate focus is to complete the expansion in time,? Verma said.
SAIL is implementing a R72,000-crore expansion plan and Verma a few days back expressed dissatisfaction over its slow pace of progress.
SAIL officials said that SAIL chairman CS Verma has himself started visiting the expansion projects. He visited Burnpur in West Bengal on August 12 and Bhilai in Madhya Pradesh on August 20 to oversee the progress immediately after the minister asked to increase the speed of work.
While modernisation of IISCO, which is supposed to become SAIL?s most modern plant with a zero-wastage mechanism, is being implemented at a cost of R16,408 crore, modernisation of Bhilai, the biggest of SAIL?s nine units, is being implemented at a cost of R17,200 crore.
SAIL chairman said the company?s present concern was increasing iron ore production for captive use, which would go up from the present 23.2 mt to 39 mt. SAIL, he said, would invest R10,264 crore to develop mines to meet its iron ore requirement.