OST Business Bureau
New Delhi, Sep 21:
Public sector steel major Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is working on a long term strategic plan Vision 2025 and is well on course to achieve the production target of 300 million ton per annum (MTPA) set for it by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, SAIL Chairman RS Verma said here today.
“This will not only enhance SAIL’s contribution to nation building but will put SAIL amongst the top steel companies globally. Your company already has the land bank and the other necessary infrastructure for expanding its capacity to this level,” he said outlining the company’s ambitious plans to shareholders at the company’s 41st Annual General Meeting held here.
Updating shareholders of the progress made in company’s modernization and expansion programme, the Chairman said, “It gives me immense pleasure to inform my esteemed shareholders that the new 4060 m3 Blast Furnace at RSP, which is the largest in the country has become operational in August, 2013. Bringing about a quantum jump of 2.5 million tonne in our hot metal capacity, this marks a new chapter in the modernization and expansion of our company.” The company is likely to operationalize projects worth more than Rs 15,000 crore during the balance part of the current financial year increasing the hot metal production capacity by around 5.0 MTPA during the fiscal.”
SAIL’s performance in the current fiscal year has bucked global trends. The company registered a 16% hike in sales in the month of August 2013 by selling 10.86 lakh tonnes of steel products as compared to 9.38 lakh tonnes in corresponding period last year. For the five month duration of April-August 2013, the cumulative steel sales stood at 47.8 lakh tonnes, a growth of 7% over last year. Early this month, SAIL launched a cost optimization drive aiming to achieve savings to the tune of Rs 5000 crore during the next three years. Thrust areas identified for cost reduction include input optimization, improving operational efficiency, quick stabilization of newly commissioned units and reducing overhead costs.
“On the operational front, notwithstanding the challenging market conditions in the current fiscal arising from almost flat demand, SAIL operated at 104% of its capacity during April-August 2013,” Verma said.
Taking special note of SAIL’s contribution in strengthening nation’s defence, the Chairman said, “It is a matter of great pride to inform you that the country has launched the first indigenously made Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant made entirely from SAIL Steel. About 26,000 T of high-grade DMR 249 A, 249 A-Z and 249 B steel has been supplied by SAIL for this prestigious project.”
Assuring shareholders about the security of raw materials to support the modernization and expansion activities of SAIL, the Chairman informed that Government of India has granted mining lease for 871 hectares in Bhilwara district in Rajasthan to SAIL. Further, the company is also making efforts to develop new coking coal blocks at Tasra and Sitanala.
For the financial year 2012-13, the company finalized the dividend @ 20% of the paid up equity share capital.