ArcelorMittal-Nippon Steel India (AM/NS India) on Thursday reported a 467% year-on-year increase in Ebitda (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation) for the April-June quarter of the current year at $607 million, aided by a low base. Strong cash generation and balance sheet strength will continue to support the funding requirements of the long-term growth plans, the company said.
It has tentatively set 2030 as the target year for reaching the 30 mtpa capacity.
AM/NS India had acquired Essar Steel’s Hazira plant for Rs 42,785 crore in December 2019 via the insolvency route after a protracted process. This was the country’s largest stressed-asset deal and marked Arcelor-Mittal’s entry into India’s potentially fast-growing steel industry. AM/NS India is a 60:40 joint venture between the world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal and Japan’s Nippon Steel.
The asset since then saw an impressive turn around generating $247 million Ebitda in the first half of last year which grew to $1,010 million in the same period of the current year.
AM/NS India has already started the debottlenecking process to achieve 8.4 mtpa capacity in Hazira. In the medium and long terms, it plans to jack up capacity to 14 mtpa and further to 18 mtpa respectively from around 7.6 mtpa now.
The company is “progressing well” in Odisha where it plans to set up a 12 mtpa capacity with an investment of `50,000 crore. India-born billionaire Lakshmi Mittal inked an agreement with the Odisha government for setting up the plant in Odisha in March this year.
In a statement, issued post-announcing the result for the second quarter, parent ArcelorMittal’s CEO Aditya Mittal said, “AM/NS India’s progress in the 18 months since its inception is an excellent foundation to advance our plans to pursue both organic expansion and strategic opportunities in support of India’s growing economy.”
AM/NS India’s crude steel production for the second quarter remained stable at 1.8 MT as compared to 1.2 MT in the same quarter last year. In the first quarter of the current year, the Gujarat-based company had produced 1.8 MT of crude steel as well.
“We initially just stated that we are increasing our footprint in India, but now with the performance of the company and with the active support of the government, we are going ahead with the plans more aggressively,” said AM/NS India CEO Dilip Oommen to FE.
AM/NS India is nearing the completion of doubling the capacity of its pellet plant to 12 MTPA in Odisha. With this addition, the overall pellet capacity of AM/NS India in the country will increase from 14 mtpa to 20 mtpa. Operations at our Sagasahi iron ore mine in Odisha are due to come on stream in the third quarter of the current year.
India’s current installed steel-making capacity is around 140 mtpa. The country aspires to have 300 mtpa installed capacity by 2030-31. With China pruning production and curbing exports, a bright prospect is waiting for the Indian steelmakers to fill up the vacuum in the international arena.