ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel completes ‘most challenging’ first year operations in India

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on December 16, 2020

Company plans to expand capacity to 8.5 mtpa

ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India has termed the impact of Covid as the most challenging even as it plans to ramp up capacity to 8.5 mtpa from 7.5 mtpa through bottlenecking in the short term.

Aditya Mittal, Chairman, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India, said the focus in the short-term will be on debottlenecking the existing operations to increase annual production to about 8.5 million tonnes while the long-term production intentions to reach between 12 and 15 million tonnes of annual production still stand.

In a letter to employees on completion of one year operations in India, Mittal said the last one year has certainly been far more challenging than what was imagined when the deal completed this time last year.

“At that point, we had not yet heard the words Covid,” he added.

The unparalleled challenge of Covid has caused massive disruption all over the world and has been a very difficult time for everyone both personally and professionally.

The slowdown following the March lockdown was safely and efficiently managed, as was the ramp up as lockdown measures eased, enabling the company to be back at full production levels by mid-May, only six weeks after the lockdown was originally initiated, he said.

Also read: ArcelorMittal-Essar tussle over Hazira port leaves Gujarat government at sea

“Covid has in no way dampened the long-term potential we see for AM/NS India. India is a growing, resilient economy and it will bounce back – of this I have no doubt,” said Mittal.

Capacity expansion

While scale is important, the company plans to develop downstream capabilities, improve capacity to produce higher-added value auto products and introducing other high-value products from the ArcelorMittal range, he said.

This is an area where the company can really benefit from its parent companies, ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel.

ArcelorMittal has now set a net zero 2050 target and are constantly innovating and trialling technologies that will reduce emissions. “While this may not feel like the most pressing issue in India today, if we are to set new standards in Indian steelmaking we need to be as conscious of the long-term trends which will shape our industry as we are of the short-term challenges which occupy our thoughts daily,” he said.

Published on December 16, 2020

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