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Induction furnaces will have to follow BIS standards to survive: Steel Ministry

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Stating that there will be absolutely zero tolerance on the quality front, steel ministry has warned small induction furnaces to strictly adhere to the BIS standards or else they might have to shut shops simply because they would not be able to sell their products in the market.

There are around 1,128 induction furnaces in the country which use sponge iron or melting scrap to produce semi-finished steel. Of India’s 125 MTPA steel production capacity, 29% or 36 MnT comes through the induction furnace route.

"Induction furnaces will have to follow the BIS standards, if they have to compete and if they want to sell their products in the market,” said a senior steel ministry official on sidelines of a conference conducted by steel ministry on giving preference to domestically produced steel.

Though 33 steel products have already been notified under the mandatory quality certification mark scheme of BIS, actual implementation of these standards by the industry, particularly by the secondary manufacturers, is limited, resulting in large-scale production, imports and use of sub-standard material, putting infrastructure and public safety at risk.


Since most of the induction furnace units lack in-house quality testing facilities, the government proposed to set up quality testing facilities in steel hubs and further strengthen the already established facilities to cater to possible rise in demand.

Induction furnace route finds a prominent place in India’s steel-making since it has a number of advantages. It does not require coking coal, for which India mostly relies on imports. The capital cost is also less and does not required large land parcel to set up a unit.

However, the induction furnace route lacks refining capabilities. The steel ministry, which lays a lot of emphasis on secondary steel firms to achieve its ambitious target of taking country’s steel-making capacity to 300 MnT by 2030-31, has already decided to take appropriate steps to promote development of consistent and cost-effective refining methods in order to produce high quality steel.

Secondary manufacturers contribute around 51% of India’s annual steel production. BIS standard is applicable to all products, be it imports or produced domestically by the integrated firms or small units. These 33 products account for 75% of India’s total steel production. Sources said the number might also go up in the coming days.

Source: Steelmint.com

Maharashtra starts process to replace old thermal plants with supercritical ones

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"Such plants need lesser amount of coal and have increased capacity. Supercritical plants cause at least eight times less pollution compared to the traditional power plants.

THE MAHARASHTRA Power Generation Company (Mahagenco) is planning to convert its retiring thermal power plants into supercritical ones. A proposal is being prepared by the company to be presented to the holding company Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) and the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). A month after the Union power ministry announced its resolve to phase out power plants older than 25 years and replace them with supercritical ones, Mahagenco has already started preparing for the same. Union Minister Piyush Goyal had last month announced that power plants of NTPC, which together produced around 11,000 MW power, will be phased out gradually and converted into ‘super critical plant’. These plants will not only increase capacity but reduce pollution, he had said.

“Such plants need lesser amount of coal and have increased capacity. Supercritical plants cause at least eight times less pollution compared to the traditional power plants,” said Bipin Shrimali, the chairman and managing director of Mahagenco.

Until last year, Mahagenco had decommissioned two units of 210 MW each at the Chandrapur plant, one 210 MW unit at Parli power plant and one 200 MW unit at Koradi power plant.

The Koradi unit was recently replaced by a 3,300 MW supercritical plant which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mahagenco officials said that the generation company was planning to replace the rest with supercritical units.

However, given that the state has surplus power, Mahagenco may not add capacity to the plants. “The plan is to replace the existing capacity so far and not add capacity,” said an official on the condition of anonymity. He added that as the production cost is lower in case of supercritical plants, the tariff too will be lower and consumers could benefit from it.

The state-owned power generation company is now awaiting the demand supply data from its sister distribution company Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL).

“Our proposal will map the needs of the distribution company as per the power purchase agreement between the two companies,” said the official. In a recent hearing, the MSEDCL was directed by the MERC to prepare a detailed future plan based on its current demand and supply by mid-May.

Mahagenco will then plug its proposal to the distribution company’s needs and seek approval from the MSEB.

Source: http://indianexpress.com

Indian-origin steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta on US acquisition spree

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LONDON: Britain's Indian-origin steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has made a bid to acquire all the assets of a Minnesota iron ore firm, days after he announced plans to take over ArcelorMittal's steelworks in the US.

GFG Alliance, which includes Gupta's global industrial and metals group Liberty House as well as his family's resources and energy group SIMEC, said the move to acquire Mesabi Metallics Company LLC, formerly known as Essar Steel Minnesota LLC and ESML Holding Inc, was part of its plans to step up its North American expansion programme.

The acquisition will cover a seven million tonnes-a-year iron ore pellet plant at Nashwauk Minnesota with an expansion potential to 14 million tonnes a year, plus magnetite resources estimated at 1.968 billion tonnes, with reserves of 1.679 billion tonnes, and hematite mineral resources estimated to be around 352 million tonnes.

The bid is being made as a consortium alongside ERP Iron Ore (ERPI) and institutional investors working together as the Chippewa Capital Partners.

"We are very pleased to team up with our partners in the Chippewa Capital Partners consortium to put forward this exciting proposal. We see this as a time of renewed opportunity for growth of American industry, and we have the breadth and depth of skill and experience to capitalise on that opportunity," said Gupta, executive chairman of GFG Alliance.

He said the bid to acquire Mesabi Metallics fits with the GFG strategy to develop end-to-end integrated and sustainable businesses in North America, encompassing mining and energy production through to recycling, steel making and engineering, underpinned by the group's financial services operation.

Jay Hambro, GFG's Chief Investment Officer and CEO of SIMEC Mining, said, "With current volatility in the iron ore price, it is important to focus on a low cost operation and on value-added products that have a long-term demand base.

"The Mesabi assets need a well-considered built-out programme under the leadership of a group investing with a view to long-term ownership."

The move follows last week's announcement that Liberty House has reached an agreement with NRI steel major Lakshmi N Mittal's ArcelorMittal to buy the Georgetown steelworks in South Carolina with its electric arc furnace and rod mill.

The GFG Alliance is also expanding in Australia where Liberty and SIMEC are at an advanced stage in the process to secure major mining, recycling and steel assets.

GFG's international operations include: recycling, steelmaking and downstream products, power generation, natural resources, and trading business with 2017 revenues in excess of USD 9 billion.

Liberty is the largest producer of steel and downstream engineered steel products in the UK with its products sold in over 50 countries.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

IFC ropes in JICA for power plant in Bangladesh

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KOLKATA: IFC (International Finance Corporation), a member of the World Bank Group, has roped in Japanese agency JICA to invest $30 million in Sembcorp North-West Power Company Ltd.

Sembcorp North-West Power Company Ltd is a joint venture between Sembcorp Utilities and Bangladesh government owned North-West Power Generation Company Ltd. It is building a 414MW dual-fuel combined-cycle power plant at Sirajganj in Bangladesh. The plant will significantly expand power-generation capacity in Bangladesh.

JICA's $30 million is part of the total financing package of $ 165 million that includes a loan from IFC’s own account as well as additional loans mobilised through partners. The total project cost is estimated at around $412 million.

"The project is expected to be one of the most efficient plants in the country that will help modernize Bangladesh's power sector," JICA's senior vice-president Kenichi Tomiyoshi said in a statement.

This transaction is IFC's first co-investment with JICA since the two organizations signed a master cooperation agreement in April 2015.

Tang Kin Fei, group president and CEO, Sembcorp Industries, said, "Sembcorp's commitment towards supporting Bangladesh's vision for continued growth and development is further strengthened with support from JICA, IFC, and other global investors. Sembcorp's Sirajganj power plant will provide cost-effective and reliable energy solutions to the country for more than 22.5 years after its completion.”

"Bangladesh is on an ambitious growth path. Addressing the electricity gap is an immediate need. With JICA’s first investment into the country, IFC is confident of making a positive impact on the economy and the quality of life of Bangladeshi people. The project will help address the electricity gap while lowering the cost of generation," said Hyun-Chan Cho, IFC's Asia-Pacific Head for Infrastructure.

Nearly 40% of Bangladesh’s 160 million population live without access to electricity. Citizens encounter frequent blackouts. Severe power shortages are a major bottleneck for the growth of the job-creating manufacturing sector, hampering economic growth and poverty-alleviation efforts.

The power plant will be the second largest power plant in the country and represents the largest foreign direct investment into this sector in recent years. The success of the project will demonstrate the profitability and sustainability of public and private-sector partnerships in Bangladesh’s power sector to international players, helping attract additional capital to the sector.

IFC promotes sustainable growth and private-sector development in Bangladesh by investing in critical infrastructure, boosting financial inclusion, enhancing textiles competitiveness, and supporting reforms to make doing business easier for the private sector.

IFC committed $635 million in Bangladesh, in own and mobilized funds across 13 projects, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016. IFC’s committed portfolio in Bangladesh is about $1 billion in 47 projects.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

BHEL commissions 250 Mw coal-based power plant in Assam

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BHEL is executing the main plant package contract for setting up three coal-fired units of 250 MW each at NTPC’s Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station. This is the largest coal-based power plant in North East.

Kolkata: Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), India's largest power equipment manufacturer, has commissioned a 250 MW coal-based thermal power unit at its Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station (TPS) of NTPC in Assam, the firm said in a statement.

BHEL is executing the main plant package contract for setting up three coal-fired units of 250 MW each at NTPC’s Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station. This is the largest coal-based power plant in North East.

The first unit of the power plant was commissioned earlier by BHEL and is presently operational while the third and final unit is in an advanced stage of commissioning.

The Bongaigaon TPS is located at Salakati near Bongaigaon in Kokrajhar district of Assam. Also known as the gateway to Lower Assam, Bongaigoan is one of the industrial towns of the state, which also has a major petrochemical industry. This project has been set up after demolishing an old 4x60 MW power station of Assam State Electricity Board.

The sets of this rating class, supplied by BHEL, are considered as the workhorse and backbone of the Indian power sector. These sets have been performing much above the national average as well as international benchmarks.

At present, in Assam, BHEL is also executing a gas-based combined cycle power project of 98.4 MW at Namrup. The plant is already commissioned in the open cycle mode and the commissioning in combined cycle mode is in the final stages.

BHEL is the market leader in the Indian Power Sector with a formidable installed base of over 1,70,000 MW of power plant equipment globally.

Source: energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Tata Metaliks shelves ₹15,000-cr integrated steel plant in Karnataka

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BENGALURU, MARCH 22: Tata Metaliks has informed the Karnataka government that it cannot implement its ₹15,000 crore 3-mtpa integrated steel plant at Haveri and because of non-availability of mines and iron ore.

“The company has informed the State government that the project cannot be implemented and has requested for refund of the amount paid for allotment of land,” RV Deshpande, Minister for Large and Medium Industries, told the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.

The Minister replying to a question by MLA from Haveri, Basavaraj Nilappa Shivannavar, on the status of Tata Metaliks project said the Supreme Court’s decision to allot mines only through auction and priority be given to state-owned enterprises in allotment of mines.

This is the reason given by the Minister for non-allotment of iron ore mines to the company.

Based on these developments, “the company on October 10, 2016, informed the government that the project has become unviable because of non-availability of mines and iron ore,” explained Deshpande.

Clearance, acreage

For Tata Metaliks, the Karnataka government had acquired 2,500 acres at various villages of Haveri taluk and the integrated steel plant was approved by the State High Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC).

Deshpande said after SHLCC clearance, the State government went about acquiring land through KIADB.

About 1,658 acres in Boodugatti and Agadi villages; and 608 acres in Devagiri and Devagiriyallapura villages totalling 2,266 acres were notified for acquisition.

Shivannavar requested the State government to take a suitable decision early and compensate the farmers who are waiting for nearly seven years.

“The decision to return the land will be taken after due examination by the government based on request of the company. We will again go to the SHLCC to take a suitable decision,” said Deshpande.

Source: thehindubusinessline.com

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