Companies

SAIL drawing up R&D master plan to lower production costs

Abhishek Law Ranchi | Updated on November 12, 2017

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Public sector steel major SAIL is preparing a master plan so as to lay thrust on research and development (R&D) activities. The plan, likely to come into effect by September, will lay down the necessary processes the company will adopt for its expansion plans.

The focus of the various proposals will be on innovations that will bring down the cost of production through the adoption of different technologies in various plants.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr C. S. Verma, Chairman and Managing Director, SAIL, said: “We are currently in the process of finalising the details of the master plan. The plan will lay stress on increasing our research and development activities.”

Mr Verma has already mentioned that R&D spend by SAIL, a Maharatna company, has not been up to the mark while adoption of cost effective new technologies too has been slow.

Low R&D spend

Currently, R&D spend by SAIL is around Rs 130 crore, which is a mere 0.25 per cent of its turnover. Once the new proposals come into effect, R&D spending will go up fourfold to around Rs 500 crore, senior company officials said.

Mr D. Mukherjee, Executive Director, SAIL (R&D Centre for Iron and Steel), said that the company is currently discussing technology adoption in its joint ventures with Posco and Kobe. These include two new technologies — ITMk3 and FINEX.

He added that technical details of the joint venture, such as technological transfer process and the level of participation between the companies, are being worked out.

“In another year's time we expect the joint ventures to be finalised,” Mr Mukhejee said.

SAIL has already announced that it will enter into a joint venture agreement with Japan's Kobe steel to set up a new steel mill at Durgapur using the ITMk3 technology. In Jagdishpur (Uttar Pradesh), too, SAIL has entered into a joint venture with Kobe for setting up auto-grade steel-making units. Currently, auto-grade steel is imported.

Similarly, through its joint venture with South Korean steel major Posco, SAIL is looking forward to adopt the FINEX technology for setting up a new steel plant at its Bokaro unit.

Published on April 12, 2011

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