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SAIL posts 6% rise in steel production in Q1

KOLKATA: Steel Authority of India Limited (SAILBSE -3.83 %) has achieved the highest ever production of saleable steel during the first quarter of FY14 (Q1) at 3.2 million tonnes (mt), up by 6% over corresponding period last year. Production of value added steeltouched the best ever Q1 mark, at 1.28 mt, a year-on-year growth of 4%. 

Between April-June 2013, new projects worth around Rs 2700 crore commenced production across the company's various units. Significant among them are the new seven meter tall battery complex along with coke dry cooling plant and the 2500-mm wide slab caster, both at Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP). 

A new 4,060 cubic meter blast furnace, the largest in the country is also slated to commence production in the current month at RSP. With several other projects on the anvil, the annual production capacity of hot metal is expected to grow to 19 mt by next fiscal from the current level of 14 MT. 

The modernisation & expansion programme received a new fillip during the quarter with the commissioning of a new Coke Oven Battery No. 6 at RSP on June 1, 2013. The new Battery complex, built at a cost of Rs 1400 crore, has an annual capacity of 0.768 mt. 

Other projects under modernisation and expansion plan, which have started production, include a new Sinter Plant and Coke Oven at RSP, Air Separation Unit of Oxygen Plant at Bhilai Steel Plant, Raw materials Handling Plant, Coke Oven, Sinter Plant and Wire Rod Mill & RHF at IISCO Steel Plant, Burnpur. 

Production efficiency also got a boost during the first quarter of FY14 with a specific energy consumption rate of 6.57 gcal/tcs. This was lower by 1% than the previous corresponding period. 

During the quarter, blast furnace productivity also improved by 2% to 1.57 t/cum/day. In June '13, SAIL's saleable steel production of 1.08 mt was higher by 7% compared to same month last year.