JSPL to commission 2.5 MT furnace on Wednesday at Angul plant

Company increasing prices of steel plates by up to Rs 1,500 per tonne for current month and venturing into retail marketing of its products

Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) will commission 2.5 million tonne electric arc furnace at its upcoming Rs 30,000 crore steel mill in Angul, Odisha, on Wednesday, a senior company official said today.

Initially, JSPL will conduct trial runs to stabilise the furnace. Post stabilisation, which will take few months, its steel making capacity will increase to 6 million tonne per annum (MTPA).

The company also made two other announcements: increasing the prices of steel plates by up to Rs 1,500 per tonne for the current month, and venturing into retail marketing of its products by launching a new brand identity, Jindal Panther.

It has been selling steel plates at about Rs 35,000- 36,000 per tonne (ex-factory price).

“Day after tomorrow is birth anniversary of our founder O P Jindaljee and on the same day, we are going to commission India’s largest electric arc furnace of 2.5 million tonnes (MT) (at Angul). Every thing is ready, our team is working 24 hours and countdown has already started,” JSPL’s Deputy Managing Director and CEO (Steel Business) V R Sharma told reporters here.

He added that JSPL has plans to produce 1.5 MTPA steel plates and 1 MTPA billets from the new capacity.

The company has already invested over Rs 17,000 crore on the project. It has now started working on the second phase of 4 MTPA steel making capacity.

JSPL hopes to complete the second phase of Angul by January-February 2016, company’s Managing Director Ravi Uppal said.

On the company’s foray into retail marketing of steel products, he said that it is a natural progression for the company as JSPL wants to expand its reach directly to end-consumers.

Noting that the move was under planning for quite some time now, Uppal said that JSPL is particularly focusing on tapping the housing sector and will be investing about Rs 500 crore on the retail segment.

Under the Jindal Panther brand, the company has launched TMT rebars as its first product and set up a chain of 40 distributors and 1,000 dealers to market its products.

The TMT bars will be supplied from company’s bar and rod mill at Patratu, Jharkhand, which currently has 1 MTPA production capacity.

According to JSPL, demand for TMT bars in the country is nearly 23 MTPA. Of this, primary steel producers, including JSPL, sell only 7 MTPA and rest is controlled by secondary producers