Bokaro's cement project cleared

REACHING BEYOND STEEL: A panaromic view of the Bokaro Steel Plant.

REACHING BEYOND STEEL: A panaromic view of the Bokaro Steel Plant.  

Special Correspondent

BOKARO: The board of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has approved a proposal of Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL) for the setting up of a cement plant as a 50:50 joint venture. Expressions of interest would be invited soon. "We are open to any offer, including those from multinationals," said U. P. Singh, Managing Director of BSL, the largest public sector flat steel producer, a unit of SAIL.

Addressing visiting presspersons here on Friday, he said an investment of Rs. 320 crore was on the anvil for setting up a one-million tonnes cement plant with plans to double the capacity in tune with market response. "Easy availability of raw materials such as slag from the blast furnace made us conceive this project," Mr. Singh said.

After turning in a good year with healthy growth in topline and bottomline, the SAIL unit, is planning to consolidate its generating capacity that it now has under the Bokaro Power Supply Company Ltd (BPSCL), the equal joint venture SAIL had floated with Damodar Valley Corporation in 2002 for its existing 302 MW power plant. A Rs. 2,450 crore investment is proposed to augment the rated capacity of the existing plant (from 200 MW to 275 MW) while adding 500 MW of fresh capacity. This new project awaited the sanction of the boards of DVC and SAIL, Mr. Singh said.

Turning to steel, the MD said that overcoming the crisis caused by coal shortage in the first half of 2004-05, BSL ended the year with a turnover of Rs. 10,019 crore against Rs. 7,614 crore in 2003-04. The net profit stood at Rs. 3,290 crore against Rs. 1,120 crore.

Tata Motors relied totally on this SAIL plant for steel for its truck chassis, Mr. Singh said.

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