German steel giant Thyssenkrupp expects its proposed joint venture with Tata Steel Europe to be finalised by the end of this calendar year, a senior company official said here today. Both the companies in September last year had announced plans to combine their European operations and form an equal joint venture, creating Europe’s second largest steel maker, after ArcelorMittal.
“The JV is an ongoing process. The talks with UK labour union are on and we expect closure by end of current calendar year,” Jens Overrath, chairman of the executive board, Thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel told reporters here. He was speaking on the sidelines of an event to inaugurate the expanded cold rolled grain oriented (CRGO) electrical steel unit at Nashik in Maharashtra. The company plans to produce 35,000 million tonnes (mt) per annum of CRGO electrical steel used in transformers for power sector from the expanded factory, against the current capacity of 10,000 mt.
“India is a very important market for us and we are the only manufacturers of CRGO steel in the country. The expansion will enable us to enhance the innovative approach that we take towards all our products, thereby providing cutting edge technology to all our offerings,” he said. The country’s demand for this specialised steel is estimated at 400,000 mt, which is being met by imports at present.
Overrath said the new product line set-up will help in meeting the continuously increasing demand of cold rolled grain oriented in the Indian market. The company also hopes to shift its exports to Asia from European plants to the Nashik unit. “We are also hopeful of commencing exports to Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka from the Nashik facility,” he added.