Contrary to the earlier plan, Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel has decided not quit the struggling Italian market completely but retain the rail mill even while selling other assets in that country.

Seshagiri Rao, Joint Managing Director, JSW Steel told BusinessLine that the company is looking for good opportunity to disinvest the Italian asset partly.

“We will retain rail mill and want to get out of other businesses. We have received initial interest from buyers but will take a call after examining it thoroughly,” he added.

The Italian operation needs backward integration to make it sustainable. JSW Steel is not keen to make further investment there to set up electric arc furnace and produce billets to feed the units there, said Rao.

As far as rail mill is concerned, he said it can be integrated by supplying billets from India. Other mills in that country do not generate that kind of Ebitda to support specialised billet shipments from India, he said.

In 2018, JSW Steel had acquired had acquired the entire stake in Italian businesses – Aferpi SpA and Piombino Logistics SpA – and 69 per cent in GSI Lucchini SpA for €55 million (₹440 crore).

Aferpi has an annual capacity of rail mill of 0.32 million tonne, bar mill of 0.4 mt and wire rods of 0.6 mt. Piombino Logistics, which manages the logistics infrastructure of Piombino’s port, also operates a 42 km rail line inside the plant. GSI Lucchini manufactures forged steel balls used in grinding mills.

To invest ₹450 cr in Group companies

JSW Steel, which had drawn flak for investment in Group companies JSW Energy and unlisted JSW Paints, will invest ₹450 crore this fiscal.

Last year, it committed to invest Rs 750 crore over 3 years to help JSW Paints expand industrial paint capacity and ensure committed supply.

So far, Rao said the company had invested Rs 300 crore in JSW Paints and the valuation of this investment has already gone up to ₹554 crore. The company will invest another ₹225 crore this year and rest next year, he added.

Rao said the demand for colour coated products is doing well and JSW Steel has 60 per cent market share in this category.

The company had also agreed to invest ₹450 crore in JSW Energy to develop 958 MW of green energy project in the ratio of 40:60 between solar and wind energy at the Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka. It has already invested ₹225 crore and the remaining money will be ploughed this year.

JSW Energy has commissioned 225 MW of green energy capacity and the balance 733 MW will go on stream this year, said Rao.

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