SAIL exploring new markets to source coking coal.

SAIL exploring new markets to source coking coal: Chairman Anil Chaudhary.

Synopsis

According to official data, the country imports about 56 million tonnes (MT) of coking coal worth around Rs 72,000 crore. Out of this, about 45 MT is imported from Australia alone, and the remaining from South Africa, Canada, and the US.

New Delhi:

State-run steel maker SAIL NSE 2.93 % is exploring new markets for the sourcing of coking coal with a view to reducing dependence on select countries for the raw material, its chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary said.

According to official data, the country imports about 56 million tonnes (MT) of coking coal worth around Rs 72,000 crore. Out of this, about 45 MT is imported from Australia alone, and the remaining from South Africa, Canada, and the US.

“Domestic steelmakers depend heavily on imported coking coal. SAIL as well as metallurgical coal (coking coal) is largely procured through imports apart from some domestic sourcing. We are looking at developing new destinations and vendors for sourcing coking coal from the international market to avoid dependence on limited sources,” the SAIL chairman told in an interview.

Raw material security holds significance for the steelmaker which plans to more than double its capacity to 50 MTPA by 2030.

SAIL is part of a joint venture International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL)

Chaudhary further said that SAIL is part of a joint venture International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL) with the aim to acquire mining assets abroad. PSUs like RINL, NMDC, CIL, and NTPC are partners in the JV.

ICVL has acquired coal mines and assets in Mozambique with coal reserves of more than 500 MT. The mining from these overseas assets is gradually being enhanced, he said.

According to the company data, during 2019-20, the requirement of about 1.53 MT coking coal was met from indigenous sources like Coal India NSE 1.07 % Limited and captive sources while the balance 13.70 MT was met through imports.

Earlier, the official auditor CAG had pulled up the steel giant for being heavily dependent on imported coking coal.

On sourcing of iron ore, another key steelmaking raw material, he said the company meets its entire iron ore requirements from captive sources.

During 2019-20, the company’s captive mines produced about 29.28 MT of iron ore. The steelmaker, under the Ministry of Steel, has five integrated steel plants and over 20 captive mines spread across Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and West Bengal.

SAIL is always aligned with the country’s vision

When asked about its expansion plan, Chaudhary said “SAIL is always aligned with the country’s vision of reaching 300 MTPA by 2030-31 which is a huge leap from the current domestic levels of around 140 MTPA. “So, in sync with the rising domestic steel capacity, SAIL has also envisaged going beyond its current installed levels. Depending on market demand and new opportunities, the company will take suitable actions.”

On the plans of setting up an auto-grade steel plant in JV with ArcelorMittal in India, he said SAIL and the L N Mittal-owned company had entered into an MoU in this regard and discussions were even in advanced stages.

“Even though the discussions with ArcelorMittal reached an advanced stage, the same took a back seat when AM (ArcelorMittal) got engaged in the acquisition of Essar Steel under the NCLT mechanism,” the chairman added.

SAIL is exploring different options

However, the technology for making auto-grade steel is available with other steel companies as well for which SAIL is exploring different options, he said.

Earlier, two separate delegations of Indian steel PSUs led by the Ministry of Steel visited Japan and South Korea for deliberations with the steel firms in these countries for further expansion and probable areas of technological collaboration towards the manufacturing of high-grade steel including steel for auto-body sheets, Chaudhary informed.

SAIL and the Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal had entered into an MoU in May 2015 to explore the possibility of setting up an auto-grade steel manufacturing facility under a joint venture in India.

About two-and-a-half years later in December 2017, the SAIL board approved the proposal to enter into a joint venture within India.

About two-and-a-half years later in December 2017, the SAIL board approved the proposal to enter into a joint venture with the world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal for manufacturing high-end automotive steel. However, a definitive agreement in this regard was to be finalized in due course, subject to financial viability.

While speaking to earlier, the chairman had said that there was no delay from SAIL’s side. The company had even written a letter to ArcelorMittal asking the latter to expedite the process for signing the definitive agreement but the effort could not gain fruitful results.

Source- | The Economic Times | Business news | Industry |

BHEL begins civil works at West Bengal.

BHEL begins civil works at 660-MW Sagardighi thermal power plant in West Bengal.

New Delhi: State-owned engineering firm BHEL on Friday said it has commenced civil works at 660-MW Sagardighi supercritical thermal power project in West Bengal. Following the strategic completion of pre-engineering activities for the project beforehand, groundbreaking has begun on zero dates itself, a BHEL statement said.

This is a major achievement as conventionally it takes a few months after the zero date to initiate civil works on-site, the company said.

Valued at approximately Rs 3,500 crore, the turnkey order for Sagardighi Thermal Power Project Extension Unit-5 was won by BHEL against stiff international competitive bidding.

The order for the project located at Manigram village in Murshidabad district of West Bengal was placed on BHEL by West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDCL).

The notice to proceed was issued after obtaining the necessary approvals like environmental clearances.

BHEL’s scope of work in the project includes design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection, testing, and commissioning of the main plant turnkey package, the statement said.

The package comprises a supercritical boiler and turbine generator along with its auxiliaries, electricals, controls and instrumentation, switchyard, flue gas desulphurization (FGD) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, coal handling plant, and ash handling plant.

The key equipment for the project will be manufactured at BHEL’s Trichy, Haridwar, Bhopal, Ranipet, Hyderabad, Jhansi, Thirumayam, and Bengaluru plants, while the company’s Power Sector – Eastern Region division will be responsible for construction and installation activities on site.

The Sagardighi thermal power station is already equipped with two sets of 500 MW installed by BHEL in 2016.

BHEL has so far contributed

BHEL has so far contributed over 80 percent of the total coal-based generating capacity of WBPDCL. In addition to Sagardighi, BHEL has executed projects at Bakreswar (5×210 MW), Kolaghat TPS (6×210 MW), Bandel TPS (1×210 MW), and Santaldih TPS (4×120 MW + 2×250 MW) for WBPDCL.

The BHEL-installed units are running successfully and form the backbone of electricity generation in the state of West Bengal.

BHEL is India’s largest manufacturer of power generation equipment with an installed base of over 1,90,000 MW of power plant equipment globally.

The company has contracted 58 sets of supercritical boilers and 53 sets of supercritical turbine generators, ordered on it by various customers, in domestic as well as overseas markets.

In the supercritical segment, BHEL has successfully manufactured and executed 660 MW, 700 MW, and 800 MW sets, thereby demonstrating its leadership status and technological prowess.

Source- | The Economic Times | Business news | Industry |

India’s crude steel output falls

India’s crude steel output falls over four percent to 8.48 million tonnes in August: World Steel

NEW DELHI: India’s crude steel production fell over 4 percent to 8.478 million tonnes (MT) in August 2020, according to the World Steel Association (worldsteel). The country had produced 8.869 MT of crude steel during the same month last year, the global industry body said in its latest report.

However, global steel output has started showing a positive trend, the data showed.

Crude Steel Production

“World crude steel production for 64 countries reporting to the worldsteel was 156.244 MT in August 2020, registering a rise of 0.6 percent compared to August 2019,” the worldsteel said.

“Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this month’s figures are estimates that may be revised with next month’s production update,” it added.

Global steel production was at 155.374 MT in August 2019.

China registered an 8.4 percent year-on-year growth in steel output at 94.845 MT during August 2020 as compared to 87.499 MT in August 2019.

The US produced 5.588 MT of crude steel in August 2020, registering a fall of 24.4 percent as compared to 7.396 MT output in August 2019.

Japan produced 6.446 MT of crude steel in August 2020, down 20.6 percent from 8.120 MT a year ago. South Korea’s steel production for the month stood at 5.800 MT, down 1.8 percent as compared to 5.905 MT in August 2019, the data showed.

Germany produced 2.830 MT of crude steel in August 2020, down 13.4 percent from August 2019, while Italy produced 0.939 MT of crude steel in the month, up 9.7 percent from a year ago.

France produced 0.722 MT of crude steel in August 2020, down 31.2 percent over August 2019. Spain’s steel production for August 2020 stood at 0.696 MT, down 32.5 percent year-on-year.

“Brazil produced 2.7 MT of crude steel in August 2020, up by 6.5 percent from August 2019. Turkey’s crude steel production for August 2020 was at 3.2 MT, up 22.9 percent from August 2019,” worldsteel said.

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Source- | The Economic Times | Business news | Industry |

Domestic demand for TMT bars to normalise by October

Synopsis

Electrosteel Steels Ltd. (ESL) had exported about 50% of the steel produced in March. However, the export percentage has come down to zero since June. “Q2 has been a better quarter in terms of demand and production; this is the kind of V-shaped recovery we were expecting,” Pankaj Malhan, chief executive officer of Electrosteel said.

Domestic demand for TMT bars is at about 85% of the pre-COVID levels and is inching up, said Pankaj Malhan, chief executive officer of Vedanta NSE 1.48 % Group company Electrosteel NSE 0.57 % Steels Ltd.

Bundle reinforcing bar. Steel reinforcement. Industrial background. Top view.

Detailed information on Domestic Demand for the TMT Bars:

“Demand for the TMT bars segment is still at 85% of pre-COVID levels. That’s also because of the monsoon season, but we are very bullish. This demand will be back to 100% in the next month itself,” Malhan told ET.

Electrosteel Steels Ltd. (ESL) had exported about 50% of the steel produced in March. However, the export percentage has come down to zero since June. “Q2 has been a better quarter in terms of demand and production; this is the kind of V-shaped recovery we were expecting,” he said.
“With steel prices moving up by 25% in Q2, and demand picking up, we are hopeful that we will be even doubling our Q1 Ebitda,” Malhan said.
In February, the company had planned to double capacity at its Bokaro unit and was evaluating a greenfield facility in Karnataka. Malhan said those plans are being reviewed.
“We were quite bullish back then. Since mid-March, we saw some pushback due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. We will now be going to the drawing board again, reworking and restarting the entire exercise,” said Malhan.
Vedanta had acquired ESL in 2018 as part of its forward integration strategy. Recently, the company law tribunal approved the merger of its arm Vedanta Star Ltd. with ESL.
ESL, which majorly produces long products like TMT bars and wire rods, is witnessing a surge in demand for automotive-grade wire rod products such as springs.
 

“It started on a slower mode, but the wire segment, which typically goes into rails and automotive parts, has started picking up. In terms of TMT bars, demand is inching up during the last three-four months,” Malhan said.

The CEO said that in order to secure the raw material requirements of the company, he is open to participating in upcoming mining auctions. “We would be open to any of the auctions that will come up. It just needs to make good financial sense to participate,” he said.

Source- | The Economic Times | Business news | Industry |