Staff Correspondent

To invest Rs. 1,300-cr. in India operations

MUMBAI: Tata BlueScope Steel, a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Steel and Australia's BlueScope Steel, on Monday inaugurated its first rollforming and pre-engineered building facility near the IT Park at Hinjewadi in Pune, Mahrashtra.

The new facility will make, design and supply a range of `Butler' pre-engineered buildings and `Lysaght' steel building solutions.

Chetan Tolia, Managing Director, Tata BlueScope Steel, said, "This facility will make beams, columns, purlins and other roofing and wall cladding components for pre-engineered metal buildings and other building solutions. It will house a design centre with a fully staffed engineering team that will create new concepts, products and applications of steel in buildings.''

Besides Pune, the company will have two more facilities. While the Pune operations will serve the western region, the Sriperumbudur facility, near Chennai, will serve the South and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan will serve the northern region. The company has announced the setting up of a fourth facility at Jamshedpur with an annual metallic coating capacity of 2.50 lakh tonnes and paint line capacity of 1.50 lakh tonnes.

The company is investing Rs. 1,300 crore in the four facilities. While the Bhiwadi and Sriperumbudur facilities are expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of the current year, the Jamshedpur facility will be operational by end-2008 or early-2009. .

B. Muthuraman, Managing Director, Tata Steel, said, "This facility reaffirms our commitment that Tata BlueScope Steel will create value in the steel business. The building industry is experiencing a rapid growth and it is a great opportunity to showcase our range of products and solutions to the construction industry. In doing so, this boosts the consumption of steel in this region.''

Tata BlueScope will offer a comprehensive range of branded steel products, including the premium zincalum metallic coated and colorbond painted steel, Lysaght and Butler.

The company will focus on developing new markets and applications for coated steel in India and other South Asian countries.