Visa Steel Ltd (VSL) has acquired 280 acres for its 2.5-million-tonne-per-annum, Rs 8,000-crore integrated steel plant in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh.

Mr Vishal Agarwal, Managing Director of VSL, told Business Line on Tuesday that the company plans to acquire around 1,000 acres. It is buying land from the owners and also from the State Government agency concerned.

The greenfield project got clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests early this year. The project will be set in two phases of 1.25 tpa each, with 500-MW, coal-fired captive power units.

The State Government has identified some reserves which may be allotted to VSL, Mr Agarwal said. VSL needs iron ore deposits of around 100 million tonnes to secure the project. For coking coal linkages, VSL would bid in the next auction organised by the State.

Visa Steel, which imports metallurgical coal primarily from Australia, is also looking for coal assets overseas that are in early stages of development.

It has obtained a share of 54 million tonnes in the thermal coal block in Orissa's Talchel district, being developed under the leader-associate model by Bhushan Steel. The move is expected to reduce the company's import dependence.

In the first quarter, VSL has soft commissioned its 2.5-mtpa special and stainless steel plant and 375-MW power plants at Kalinganagar in Orissa. “The capacity is being ramped up, and by the end of this fiscal 80 per cent of the capacity would be achieved,” Mr Agarwal said.

A chrome ore deposit in Orissa's Dhenkanal district is being developed through Ghotaringa Minerals Ltd, an 89 per cent subsidiary of the company. Prospecting is over and the company is trying to get a mining lease.

Visa Steel's 65 per cent joint venture with Baosteel of China – Visa Bao Ltd – is setting up a one lakh tonne a year ferro chrome plant in Kalinganagar at Rs 260 crore. “Of the four furnaces, the first one would be commissioned in March 2012.” The debt equity ratio for the project is 70:30.

During the first quarter to June 30, VSL reported a 33.07 per cent growth in PAT at Rs 10.14 crore.

jayanta_mallick@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 26, 2011)
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