Tisco In Talks With Kerala Govt For Stake In Travancore Titanium

Bangalore, July 25: | Updated: Jul 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Tata Iron and Steel Company (Tisco) is in talks with the Kerala government for buying stake in the state-owned Travancore Titanium Products Limited, said B Muthuraman, managing director, Tisco.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr Muthuraman said, “we are talking to the Kerala government with regard to the titanium plant.” Eighty per cent shares of the state-owned plant are held by the Kerala government. Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) holds approximately eight per cent and rest are held by the public. Mr Muthuraman said that Tisco has signed an MoU with the Tamil Nadu government to undertake a techno-commercial feasibility study with the mineral sands available in Tamil Nadu. “The feasibility study will be done in a period of 18 months and would cost Rs 15 crore,” he said. Tisco was looking at new ‘out of box’ businesses too. However, he did not divulge more details on it.

“We are looking at some more steel. The additional capacity may not be in Jamshedpur this time. We are looking at the existing capacity elsewhere,” the Tisco MD said.

Tisco is weighing the proposal to set up a ferro-chrome plant in South Africa which would take an investment of approximately Rs 250 crore, he said. The Tisco MD said that the average demand for steel in India this year would increase from last year’s 1.3 per cent and would be in the range of five per cent to seven per cent. “Demands from certain segments of the steel market such as automobiles and domestic appliances might grow larger than that,” he added.

Mr Muthuraman observed that though the price of steel has increased during the last quarter, the price level had recovered only to be in the same level as it was in the first quarter of the last fiscal. He said that the utilisation rate of Tisco’s cold rolled (CR) coil unit in Jamshedpur with a capacity of 1,200 million tonne will increase to a little over 1,000 million tonne this year from last year’s 754 tonne.