State-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), one of India’s leading steel makers, has commissioned a pipe coating plant at its Rourkela unit in order to explore the niche market of coated pipes, an official said Saturday.

SAIL chairman S.K. Roongta inaugurated the facility at Rourkela steel plant, some 378 km from Orissa’s capital Bhubaneswar Friday, deputy general manager (Public relations) Rourkela Steel Plant, Rahman Khan, said.

The coating plant, the first for SAIL, has been set up with an investment of Rs.68 crore with technical know how from Italian pipe coating contractor Socotherm SpA, he said.

The unit is in strict compliance with the pollution control norms as per European standards, Khan added.

The coating protects the pipes from corrosion, mechanical abrasion and indents, he said, adding that the new plant has a coating capacity of 60,000 tonnes per annum.

The Rourkela Steel Plant, the first integrated one in the public sector, was set up with German collaboration, with an installed capacity of one million tonnes. Subsequently, its capacity was enhanced to 1.8 million tonnes.

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