Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) popularly known as ‘Vizag Steel’, India’s largest Rebar manufacturing PSU under the Ministry of Steel, is the first shore based Integrated Steel Plant in the country. Vizag Steel is a market leader in longs with a share of about 10%. It has been supplying various grades of steel for construction of projects of National importance which include Metros, Power Sector, Bridges, Nuclear complexes and several others.
RINL is ramping up its capacity with a Brownfield expansion to 7.3 MnTpa and has signed a MoU for JV with NMDC for a Pellet plant at Vizag. Steel 360 in quest to understand more about RINL’s expansion projects and future plans spoke to A.P.Choudhary, Chairman-cum-MD, RINL.
Following is the excerpt of the interview.
Q. What is the progress with the Brownfield expansion at RINL? When can we expect the Seamless pipe unit to go live?
Under the Brownfield expansion to double the capacity to 6.3 MnTpa, we have already commissioned many units, such as the Raw Material Handling system, Power & Utility systems, Blast Furnace-3, Oxygen Plant, etc., which are under operation as per requirement. The new Blast furnace has already produced a million ton. The Balance units are under advanced stage of commissioning and the products from these are expected to roll out shortly. For installation of Seamless Tube Mill, the ordering is under progress and we have received offers from major global technology & equipment suppliers from Germany, Italy, China, etc. The offers are under evaluation. Being a project of strategic importance, we are on the lookout for JV partners for installing this unit. MOIL & KIOCL have evinced interest to join the JV.
Q. Where is RINL planning to source Iron ore for expanded unit?
Iron ore for expansion up to 6.3 MnTpa has been tied up with NMDC. NMDC has also agreed for melting the Iron ore requirement for increased capacity to 7.3 MnTpa. However, transfer of Iron ore beyond certain volume is an area of concern, considering the limitations in transportation of Iron ore through KK Line currently. Transportation of Iron ore through pipeline has therefore been thought of and RINL has signed MoU with NMDC for a JV for Iron ore Slurry Pipeline and Pelletisation Plant at Vishakhapatnam. Preliminary works in connection with JV are in progress.
Decisions taken by the Governments of Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh for allotment of Iron ore mines would further strengthen securitization. Linkage for Iron ore should not be a problem for RINL, being a shore-based plant.
Q. What are RINL’s plans for the Iron ore mines (MoU) in Rajasthan?
RINL has got its first Iron ore block in Bhilwara region of Rajasthan having estimated reserves of 200 MnT of Magnetite. Another block in the same region, i.e. Jahazpur block, having higher volume of reserves is also under active consideration by government of Rajasthan and Ministry of Mines. Preliminary activities have already commenced to complete the activities, viz. detailed exploration, EIA & EMP study, area demarcation/ development etc, which are required to be done for getting mining lease. We are expecting to get the mining lease from Government of Rajasthan by the end of 2014 so as to commence production within the next two years thereafter. RINL has plans to set up state-of-the-art mining facilities, Beneficiation & Pelletisation Plant for value addition in the State. RINL also has plans to install a Steel Rolling Mill. The extent of capital investment in the area would be decided based on the extent of Iron ore reserves, availability of water, power etc.
Q. How important is the expansion for the company to utilize all the hot metal that can be produced from the 3 Blast Furnaces?
For an integrated Steel Plant, conversion of 100% hot metal into crude steel is a must for getting higher margins. In this endeavor, RINL has now got two Steel Melting Shops (SMS), out of which the first has a capacity of 3 MnT and the second SMS, with two converters of 150 MT each, got added while expanding capacity to 6.3 MnTpa. The existing Blast Furnaces of 3200 cum capacity are getting upgraded with increased volume of 3800 cum. With this, additional 1 MnT of hot metal is expected to be added. Accordingly, one more converter of 150 MT along with a round caster to produce 500 m dia is getting installed in the second SMS. To improve the techno-economics, the old converters are getting replaced with new ones along with associated facilities for better productivity and enhancing quality of steel.