Santanu Sanyal

Kolkata, Aug. 23

IISCO, now under Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), has before it for consideration a plan for creation of new and upgradation of existing facilities for transportation and logistics in view of the proposed modernisation and capacity expansion of its Burnpur plant and iron ore mines.

The plan presupposes construction of new railway lines and installation of new railway exchange yards, conveyor systems, tipplers and various other things to be needed for the proposed facilities, according to informed sources.

In fact, IISCO is believed to be toying with the idea of appointing a consultant to suggest how to go about in this matter. It might be recalled that RITES (Rail India Technical & Economic Services) has already prepared a report on upgradation of railway and other facilities for Bhilai Steel plant whose capacity is being augmented from the present around four million tonnes to more than 6 mt by 2011-12.

IISCO, it is learnt, is yet to decide on whether to entrust the job with RITES or any other consultancy firm.

IISCO's capacity is to be increased from the present 0.55 mt to 2.2 mt of hot metal by 2011-12. Which means its raw material requirement too will jump substantially.

According to one estimate, the iron ore requirement will rise to 3.47 mt comprising 1.27 mt of lump and 2.20 mt of fines, coal to 1.9 mt comprising 1 mt of imported coal and 0.9 mt of the indigenous variety, and flux to 0.88 mt.

The transportation of these materials will call for not only placement of additional wagons but also other facilities. Thus wagon requirement will be at the rate of three BOBR (bottom open, bottom release) rakes a day for transportation of iron ore, 0.6 rakes a day for flux and 1.6 rakes a day for coal and with it will rise the need for supporting facilities.

Thus, at present there is no system of mechanical unloading of wagons in the plant. The present manual system therefore has to be abandoned in favour of a mechanised system.

The creation of new facilities at Chiriya iron ore mines too, it is felt, will be part of the proposed plan. The production of Chiriya mines, it is learnt, is to be increased from the present 0.5 mt to around 7 mt annually.

This will call for construction of new railway lines and installation of conveyor systems and various other facilities to facilitate transportation of ore from the mines not only to IISCO's Burnpur plant but also to SAIL's Bokaro plant.

Right now, the iron ore raised at Chiriya mine is transported by road to Monoharpur, the nearest railhead, covering a distance of 30 km. From there, it is transported by rail to the plant.

There is now a proposal to have a conveyor system from the mines to a beneficiation plant proposed to be set up on the revenue land outside the Saranda forest area surrounding the mines.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 24, 2005)
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