Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), the corporate entity of Vizag Steel, is looking for a Sri Lankan company to enter into a tie-up for manufacturing steel products there, a senior official of the state-owned steel maker has said.

RINL Director (Commercial) T.K. Chand said the company has already called for expression of interest from Sri Lankan steel rod and bar manufacturers for the tie-up and the process of selection of the partner may come to a final stage by May.

“We have already floated EOI (Expression of Interest) in this regard and received offers from companies who have manufacturing facility in that country. By May, we expect that the process may reach final stages,” Mr. Chand said.

According to him, the steel maker, on its part, will supply billets for conversion into CTD/TMT rebars and structurals on wet-leasing basis in Sri Lanka.

“We will not make any investments into the plant. We are looking for a party with minimum three years experience in conversion of billets into CTD/TMT rebars and structurals and having valid licence for production. The entire capacity of SPU/RM shall be dedicated to RINL,” Mr. Chand added.

Another senior official said the RINL is looking at a plant with 1.5 lakh tonne per annum capacity plant in the south Asian country.

The official said they would look at a new manufacturing either in Hambantota or Trincomalee areas of the island nation so that they can use the harbour network for export purpose to countries which include the Maldives and the Myanmar.

“A study revealed that there is good potential for RINL products in Sri Lanka. And also export of billets is easier to Sri Lanka from Chennai port,” the official said when asked why the company is zeroed in on Sri Lanka.

Mr. Chand said the Navratna Company is also planning to open a regional office at the World Trade Centre in Sri Lanka.

Replying to query, he said currently RINL exports around 3 per cent of its production and has plans to increase it by 10 per cent in the coming two to three years.

The steel maker currently exports finished products to countries such as the US, UAE, Thailand, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

RINL is currently working on expansion, after which the steel making capacity will increase to 6.3 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), from the existing 3 MTPA.

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