SAIL to double capacity to 50 million tonnes per year by 2030

Public sector steel major, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), is looking to more than double capacity to 50 million tonnes (mt) by 2030. In a letter to shareholders, Soma Mondal, chairman, SAIL, said, “In line with the National Steel Policy 2017, your company has formulated its Vision 2030, whereby it is envisaged to enhance the crude steel capacity to 50 million tonnes a year.”

She also mentioned that the company has started working on the land bank study for the next phase of expansion. The message to shareholders was part of the annual report for 2020-2021.

The last phase of expansion undertaken by SAIL entailed increasing capacity from 12.8 million tonnes to 21.4 million tonnes a year. However, the expansion conceived in 2006-2007, was delayed due to the global financial crisis in 2008.

The latest annual report mentioned that the modernisation and expansion plan (MEP) at Rourkela, Burnpur, Durgapur, Bokaro and Salem Steel Plants and all major facilities under Bhilai Steel Plant have been completed.

The revised cost estimates (RCE) of MEP of all the plants is likely to be Rs 80,170 crore (gross) (excluding the sustenance schemes). The cumulative expenditure of Rs 68,267 crore (gross) has been incurred till March, 2021 on MEP (excluding sustenance schemes), the annual report mentioned.

However, taking advantage of booming steel prices, SAIL has pared debt significantly. Mondal told shareholders that the highlight of the financial performance without a shadow of doubt was reduction in the leverage position. The company reduced debt from Rs 51,481 crore as on March 31, 2020, to Rs 35,350 crore as on March 31, 2021. SAIL also recorded one of its best financial performances.

The company achieved its highest ever annual sales turnover of Rs 68,452 crore during FY21, a growth of more than 12 per cent over previous year. Most of the major steel producers posted recorded performances in FY21 on the back of rising steel prices. Companies also used the current cycle to de-leverage.

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