Soon after N. Chadrasekaran becomes the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company that runs the salt to software conglomerate Tata Group, its subsidiary Tata Steel on Thursday said it has plans to increase the capacity of its Kalinganagar project in Odisha to eight million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from its earlier proposed six mtpa.
“Tata Steel had plans to produce six million tonne in two phases originally, but we are now discussing to enhance the capacity to eight million tonne,” said T V Narendran, managing director (India and South East Asia) at Tata Steel.
“We will have to make investment for the second phase and we are discussing how and when to invest for the purpose. The issue will be put before the Tata Board in a couple of months,” he said after unfurling the national flag to mark the Republic Day function.
High in iron ore, Kalinganagar is also called the “steel city of India”, and has seen concentration of many steel plants, including Tata’s. However, the steel city has been in controversy over displacement of families. Wikipedia notes that in 2012, total number of displaced families were 1,234.
Kalinganagar is becoming a global hub for steel manufacturing, the state government has proposed townships around the hub.
Meanwhile, Narendran said that Tata Steel’s performance is expected to improve in the last quarter compared to the previous two quarters. “We witnessed slow down in demand of steel in November due to demonetisation but the situation has improved,” he said.
Though Tata Steel’s production capacity has doubled to 10 million tonnes since 2005, but its emission level came down now compared to what it was in 2005, he further said.
Regretting an incident in the Tube division claiming the life of a contract labourer recently, he said the company has invested a huge amount on safety at workplace during last 10 years particularly on training and awareness among workers.
This safety-related incident had taken place after a gap of 14 months, he said adding the company needs to do a lot more in this front.