Iron ore mines of the company are already operational. Coal mines allotted to it are likely to become operational by the year-end. 6,000-tonne wire rope unit in US to become operational in December

Our Bureau

Kolkata, Aug. 2

Specialty steel and wire rope manufacturer Usha Martin Ltd has outlined an investment of Rs 1,200 crore for ramping up its specialty steel manufacturing capacity from the existing 320,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to one million tonnes within the next 3-4 years.

Speaking to newspersons after the 20th annual general meeting here, the Chairman, Mr B.K. Jhawar, said the existing steel making capacity at its Jamshedpur plant was 320,000 tpa. This would be enhanced to 360,000 tpa in the current fiscal and to one million tonnes in the next 3-4 years. Of the one million tonnes of specialty steel that would be produced, 600,000 tonnes would be sold to automobile and engineering companies and the rest would be value-added internally and converted to wire rope and wires.

Mr Jhawar said of the Rs 1,200-crore proposed investment, Rs 200 crore had already been raised by way of a GDR issue and warrants to the promoters. A sum of around Rs 500 crore would be raised through internal accruals. "The balance Rs 500 crore is yet to be tied up," Mr Jhawar said.

According to him, the plan to ramp up capacities follows the fructification of mineral linkages. Iron ore mines of the company are already operational even as coal mines allotted to it are expected to become operational by the year-end.

Mr Jhawar said the company was hopeful of becoming the world's largest wire rope manufacturing company shortly. This process is expected to be hastened when Usha Martin's wire rope manufacturing plant in Houston, US, commences manufacturing in December this year. While the US plant would have a capacity to manufacture 6,000 tpa of wire rope to begin with, the plan is to enhance its capacity to 24,000 tpa over a period of time.

Usha Martin has declared a dividend of 55 per cent (Rs 2.75 on each equity share of the face value of Rs 5) on its operations during the year ended March 31. During the first quarter of the current fiscal, the company's consolidated net profit stood at Rs 27.73 crore, up from Rs 19 crore recorded during the corresponding period of 2004-05.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 3, 2006)
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