Pig iron maker Tata Metaliks Ltd has identified a partner to put up a 120,000-tonne a year coke oven plant and a 12-MW captive power plant at Kharagpur on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.

Envisaged as a backward integration of the pig iron capacity, the project will be located at the company’s existing factory premises at Kharagpur.

According to Harsh K. Jha, Managing Director, the estimated investment for setting up the coke oven plant and the power plant would be close to Rs 130 crore.

“We have identified a partner but the agreement is yet to be signed, so we cannot divulge further details,” Jha told newspersons on the sidelines of the 22nd annual general meeting here on Friday.

Talking about the company’s investment in the new facilities, Koushik Chatterjee, Chairman, said that he would expect the partner to pump in the investment either partly or fully as the company would aim to remain “asset light”.

“We are evaluating the possibility of setting up coke oven and power plant on a BOT model. We want to keep it asset light,” he said, responding to shareholders’ query at the AGM.

Redi plant

The company is in the process of evaluating strategic options for the sale of its over one lakh tonne pig iron manufacturing facility at Redi in Maharashtra.

“We are exploring the possibilities of going in for a structured process through sale of the plant. In case that does not happen, then we might look at closure and take a disaggregated view of the plant and machinery,” Chatterjee said.

Tata Metaliks had earlier this year scrapped its plans to sell its Redi unit to the Fomento Resources group for Rs 180 crore.

“The sale process got stuck due to some issues pertaining to valuation,” he said and added, “We have invited interest from people for sale of the plant, a few parties have expressed interest.”

shobha.roy@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 21, 2012)
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