Management says the company is handicapped for not having captive iron ore and coal mines despite being a major steel producer in the country

Promising a lot of investment opportunities at Bayyaram and other mining sites, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, said here on Thursday that its next phase of investment to the tune of Rs.25,000 crore would depend on iron ore linkages in Andhra Pradesh.

Clarifying its position in the wake of the controversy over Bayyaram mines, the RINL management said it was handicapped by not having any captive iron ore and coal mines despite being the major steel producer in the country.

Seven mining leases

For iron ore securitisation, the Navratna company had applied for seven mining leases in AP starting from 2005. RINL also signed an MoU with AP with a commitment to invest Rs. 42,400 crore at the Partnership Summit, according to a release issued here.

RINL is moving at brisk pace to honour its commitment made in the MoU and has already got approval for investments of over Rs. 17,000 crore. “The additional investment of around Rs.25,000 crore which pertains to the next phase of expansion to 12 million tonnes is linked to assured iron ore linkage by the AP Government,” it said.

Expansion plan

The RINL has drawn a plan to expand to 20 million tonnes per annum in phases, by 2025, to make it the largest steel plant in a single location in the country.

The company promises to take up scientific exploration at Bayyaram and two other iron ore mining sites in Telangana to pave the way for ascertaining exact quantum of reserves.

RINL has expressed its intent to set up value addition facilities like beneficiation plant, pelletisation plant and steel mill, depending on the quantum of iron ore reserves available at Bayyaram in Khammam and other proposed allotment of mines in Warangal and Karimnagar districts.

The RINL, a 100 per cent government undertaking, would honour all the statutory, legal and regulatory stipulations in respect of mining leases recommended for allotment to the company, such as Mines, Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act 1957, forest & environmental clearances with special reference to Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 and the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

Modernisation

RINL is on the verge of completion of its expansion to double its capacity to 6.3 million tonne. It will further raise the capacity to 7.3 million tonnes through modernisation and upgradation. Several units, including Blast Furnace in the ongoing expansion, have been commissioned and are in the operation. From new Blast Furnace over one million tonne of hot metal was produced, and the balance units of expansion are under advance stage of commission to be progressively completed by 2013-14.