Essar Steel’s integrated pelletization facility with a capacity of 6 MnT pa, at Paradip is located in the Iron ore-rich state of Odisha, India. Company targets pellet exports for better profit realization in subtle production conditions.
Essar’s plant location benefits from its proximity to Paradip port (3km away), giving advantages for Coal, other raw material imports and Pellet exports. The plant is designed to operate on slurry pipeline using low grade Iron ore fines. The 253 km long pipeline is to be laid from Dabuna in North Odhisa to Paradip. The project is held up since 2011 owing to some environmental controversies & statutory clearance. Though alternate routing plan has been also submitted but no progress witnessed so far.
“We are short of laying 3 km pipeline. Presently, we are receiving Iron ore by rail from Keonjhar and other mineral bearing areas”, said A S Prasad, Head of Paradip Pellet unit.
The Odisha unit has been running considerably less than its intended capacity for more than a couple of years owing to hold on its pipeline project. Hence the company is compelled to dedicate entire Pellet production for exports. It may use its production for domestic use, in future, after getting aforementioned clearances which are hindering to operate the plant at its full capacity.
Presently, company is operating through the supply agreements with state-run National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and other private Iron ore miners, as it does not have its captive mines.
The company has been exporting around 0.1 MnT Pellets per month to various countries like China, Indonesia and other South East Asian nations. Some European countries are also interested in buying, but the company finds it suitable to transport the material to China.
Essar has its power plant at Hazira, near Surat in Gujrat. The 10 MnT pa Steelmaking plant is operated on a natural gas-fired combined cycle. The Paradip plant was set up to cater to Essar’s plant at Hazira.