Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd here (Visakhapatnam Steel Plant) is expediting one of its long-pending projects, a cement grinding unit, to make use of the slag generated by blast furnaces and flyash, according to sources.

The company has allocated 100 acres for the project and appointed a senior official and other staff to push it through.

RINL is setting up a 3-million-tonne cement grinding unit, making use of 6 lakh tonnes of flyash, a millon tonnes of slag from the blast furnaces and the rest (1.4 million tonnes) being cement clinker. A joint venture will be formed for setting up the plant, with the RINL having 26 per cent equity in it.

The site selected for the project is near Gangavaram Port, according to sources. A valuer has been appointed to apprise the land cost and the project. At present rates, this may entail an investment of Rs 500 crore or so, including land cost. A consultant will be appointed for the project at a later stage and joint venture partners have not been identified yet.

Earlier, an expression of interest was invited by RINL for the plant, but a fresh tender will have to be floated now. The setting up of a cement plant has become urgent in view of the capacity expansion of RINL from 3 million tonnes to 6.3 million tonnes. RINL has ambitious plans to take up further expansion to 16 million tonnes by 2020.

In this backdrop, disposal of flyash and slag becomes a major problem and like other steel majors, RINL has no choice but to set up the cement unit. Sources said the company may even consider setting up a clinker plant at a later stage. The cost may go up to Rs 1,000 -1,500 crore then, added the sources.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 30, 2012)
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