Business Standard: March 09, 2015
Chennai: The $9-billion JSW Steel plans to invest Rs 800 crore to Rs 1,000 crore at its Salem unit in Tamil Nadu. The facility, which produces special steel and currently supplies largely to the automobile sector, will soon start catering to the aerospace sector. The company is also in talks to buy the Cuddalore Port in the state to cater to the needs of the plant. At present, the Salem unit uses the MARG Karaikal Port, which cannot handle vessels with higher tonnage.
In 2004, JSW acquired Southern Iron and Steel Company, then a sick unit, and turned it around. JSW raised the plant’s capacity from 300,000 tonnes to one million tonnes and switched over to value-added products.
Speaking to the Business Standard on the sidelines of the sixth edition of the TN Manufacturing Summit in Chennai on Thursday, D Ravichandar, the chief executive of JSW Steel Salem Works, said the capacity would be further increased to 1.3 million tonnes.
“We would invest Rs 800-1,000 crore. We have already approached the ministry of environment and forests and the terms of reference is expected in a week. We want to take up the expansion project this year,” said Ravichandar.
Every year, the company imports one million tonnes of coking coal and 1.5 million tonnes of iron ore.
The Salem plant makes various grades of special steel in the long-product category, from 5.5 millimetres (mm) to 200 mm. It is the Asian leader in special-grade steel used in gears, crankshafts and bearings. It also makes ultra low-sulphur steel for sour-gas pipelines and alloy steel for boilers.
A major chunk of the plant’s products are supplied to automobile customers, said Ravichandar. According to him, this facility was the first to supply Indian crankshafts to Honda, which was importing till then.
The facility also caters to the pipe sector and high-speed rails, which are exported to Italy.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.