The company is setting up two ferrochrome plants with a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per annum that will eventually provide raw material to its proposed integrated steel plant in Orissa.

Ambarish Mukherjee

New Delhi, Dec. 26

JINDAL Stainless Ltd expects to operationalise its second chrome furnace in Orissa by the end of January.

The company is likely to achieve a capacity utilisation level of 50-60 per cent at its two chrome plants by February-March, the Director-Finance, Mr Arvind Parakh, told Business Line.

The company is setting up two ferrochrome plants with a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per annum that will eventually provide raw material to its proposed integrated steel plant in Orissa. Installation of the first furnace was due in September this year, but was delayed by two months resulting in around Rs 20-crore cost escalation for the company, officials said.

The delays were due to the problems faced by the company on various fronts with the State Government plus the rains that delayed works, they said. Its plans had suffered for several reasons such as non-linkages for chromium ore, power and several other factors. "Only during the last 15 days have chrome prices fallen and things stabilised. During July-August, our works suffered because of the rains. Construction work became slow and so many other related problems," the officials said.

Jindal Stainless is setting up a 1.5-million-tonne per annum fully integrated stainless steel plant in Orissa to be followed by a six-lakh-tonne unit with an investment in the range of Rs 500-600 crore. The company has a four-lakh-tonne per annum stainless steel manufacturing facility at Hissar in Haryana. Since ferrochrome forms an essential raw material for manufacturing stainless steel, the company is taking the backward integration route by first implementing the ferrochrome project in Orissa.

Currently, Jindal Stainless requires 80,000 tonnes per annum of ferrochrome, which is partly being sourced from its own captive facility in Vishakapatnam, with a capacity of 40,000 tonnes per annum. The rest is outsourced, officials said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 27, 2005)
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