Amid rumours of a possible sale of Electrosteel Steels Ltd, Sunil Duggal, Group CEO of Vedanta Ltd, said the company’s only priority is to raise the production capacity to 3 million tonne (mt) by next year. The current capacity is close to 1.5 mt.

There was speculation in certain sections of media regarding the sale of Electrosteel Steels by Vedanta Ltd to focus on its core mining and industrial business and to deleverage balance sheet. Vedanta had, in 2018, beat Tata Steel to buy Electrosteel Steels for an estimated ₹5,320 crore under the insolvency process.

While neither confirming nor denying the news, Duggal said, “I just visited Electrosteel Steels and discussed the progress of project. As on date, this is not a topic for us. The only priority for us is to complete the projects and to raise the capacity to 3 mt.” Duggal was talking to newspersons on the sidelines of a curtain raiser event to announce the upcoming Global Mining Summit (GMS) and International Mining Machinery Exhibition (IMME) to be organised by CII in partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Coal here on Tuesday. The 16th edition of GMS and IMME is from November 16-19, 2022.

Vedanta is investing close to $2 billion at the group level across different companies and it has committed close to $300 million for Electrosteel.

Flexible policies

According to Duggal, the government needs to be more flexible in its policies and outlook so as to facilitate the mining and exploration sector. There is a need to make regulations more “business oriented” and more “flexible” so as to facilitate exploration.

Large corporates can also make use of the start-up ecosystem who have the necessary expertise and technical knowhow particularly in the natural resources sector. “It will help if decisions are more flexible rather than bureaucratic,” he said.