The country’s biggest blast furnace would be operational at the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) in Odisha by end of July, Sail chairman, Mr C S Verma, said here on Saturday.

After meeting Chief Minister, Mr Naveen Patnaik, Mr Verma said RSP’s massive expansion and modernisation work would be completed much before the committed time frame.

Sail had taken up expansion and modernisation work in the RSP at an investment of Rs 12,000 crore, he said.

The present capacity of the RSP would be doubled from 2.5 mtpa to 4.5 mtpa and subsequently to 5 mtpa, Verma pointed out adding that the country’s biggest blast furnace having 4060 meter cube would be operational at RSP in June—July this year.

Praising Odisha government and Chief Minister, Mr Naveen Patnaik, for their active cooperation, he said Sail’s iron ore mine at Bolani in Sundergarh district would continue operation.

“Bolani mines are the lifeline of the RSP. This will continue without any doubt,” Mr Verma said.

Sail’s Bolani iron ore mine’s forest clearance lapsed recently and therefore, the company faced closure of the mine.

However, Mr Verma said “the state government has already taken up the matter with the Central ministry for extension of the forest clearance. It is delayed due to holidays. We hope that the matter will be sorted out very soon,” he said.

Mr Verma said public sector undertakings should get priority in matter of raw material as they social objectives besides commercial objectives.

(This article was published on February 18, 2012)
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