Plantbee Blog | Industry News

China ups the ante, to build steel plant in Gwadar as part of CPEC

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NEW DELHI: China announced its plans to set up a steel factory in Gwadar city as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Zhao Lijian confirmed the news at a conference organised by an Islamabad based think-tank and attended by top diplomats, academicians and mediapersons.

"The steel factory will be three times bigger than the free economic zone being set up in the Gwadar city, and an agreement in this regard between China and Pakistan will be signed soon," said Zhao, as quoted by Pakistan's Nation.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a multi-billion dollar undertaking to lay out an overland route which will facilitate trade and communication between the two nations through the construction of highways, railways, and pipelines. A number of infrastructure development projects are being carried out under the umbrella of the CPEC.

At the conference, Zhao went on to say that the steel factory would be instrumental in furthering the region's growth and development as part of the CPEC project.

The Chinese ambassador also discussed some other socio-economic ventures in Gwadar. These include energy projects, a new international airport, a highway and a hospital to resolve Pakistan's crippling power-supply shortfalls, and to establish a nationwide network of logistical infrastructure.

Zhao said that "industrial cooperation was the fourth pillar of the CPEC initiative" and both the countries would discuss it at the next meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee, which is the principal decision-making body behind the project.

The progress in CPEC, which will link southern Pakistan to western China, is being warily monitored by India as the route passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

With an investment of $51 billion, the bulk of which has been supplied by China, CPEC is a part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Maritime Silk Road projects, that seek to deepen China's economic cooperation with a number of Asian and European countries.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

NMDC invests Rs 1,222 crore to set up Nagarnar steel plant

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MUMBAI: State-run iron ore miner NMDCBSE 1.57 % has invested Rs 1,222.65 crore till September 2016 to set up a 3 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) integrated steel plant in Nagarnar in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.

The plant is expected to start trial production by mid-2017.

The company has completed capital expenditure of Rs 1,434.55 crore till September 2016, of which Rs 1,222.65 crore has been invested in Nagarnar steel plant, Rs 17.39 crore on pallet plant at Donimalai, Rs 75 crore in doubling of KK lines, Rs 7.21 crore on Kumarswamy Mine and Rs 4.76 crore in Bailadilla Deposits, the company said in a corporate presentation here.

NMDC has carried out pioneering exploration activity for developing iron ore mines in Karnataka in various regions like Kudremukh, Donimalai, Bababudan, Kumaraswamy and Ramandurg, it added.

NMDC developed the Donimalai mine in this area to export ore to Japan and South Korea.

The company has also committed contribution of Rs 35 crore to JVs and associates and Rs 72.50 crore in other schemes towards addition, modification and replacement of existing assets, it said.

The Bailadila Deposit-4, which has mineable iron ore of around 108 MT, will entail an investment of around Rs 1,900 crore.

The Chhattisgarh government and NMDC have inked an MoU for a slurry pipeline from Bailadila to Nagarnar, along with ore processing plants at Bailadila and a 2-MTPA pellet plant at Nagarnar with an investment of Rs 4,000 crore.

NMDC said that its turnover increased marginally to Rs 3,460 crore in H1 FY17 as compared to Rs 3,409 crore in the same period last year.

The net profit, however, decreased by 19 per cent to Rs 1,482 crore in H1 FY17 from Rs 1,892 crore in the same period last year.

The company said it has successfully completed its share buyback offer of 80,08,25,526 equity shares at Rs 94 for an aggregate consideration of Rs 7,527 crore.

Following the buyback offer, the equity share capital stands reduced to Rs 316.39 crore, it added.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Govt may take over Reliance power plant

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With the state power utility showing no interest in renewing the power purchase agreement with the BSES Kochi Pvt Ltd (BKPL), there are chances that the government might take over the thermal power plant set up by Reliance Infrastructure.

Top sources in BKPL revealed that Reliance would not reject any proposal from the government on the takeover of the Naphtha-based 165 MW thermal power plant commissioned in 2001. "The company still wish for the renewal of the power purchase agreement between KSEB and BSES. But, the board and the government are not interested in the same. We don't wish to relocate the plant to anywhere else. Neither the BSES nor the government has so far initiated any formal talks regarding the takeover. But we have given enough hints and it seems the political leadership is more interested in taking over the plant than extending the power purchase agreement," they said.

Senior officials in power department too confirm that the plant's takeover was suggested by the board in 2015, but no policy decision was taken by the then UDF government. The 15-year power purchase agreement with BSES had come to a close on October 2015.

Though the UDF government gave in principal approval for the extension of the power purchase pact, the unions argued against the deal by saying that the board had given Rs 1,490 crore to BKPL as fixed cost from 2001 to 2015.

"The government may think about the takeover on the ground that the state needs a good mix of power generating units to ensure minimum sustainability. Also, it would not be wise to close down a plant that can be converted into a gas-based one. Such issues are to be addressed before jumping into conclusions," government sources said.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Ratan Tata hailed as saviour of UK steel industry

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LONDON: Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata was today hailed as the saviour of the UK steel industry after the Tata Group announced a 10-year commitment of one billion pounds investement to save thousands of jobs for its embattled steelworks in the country last week.

In a special feature titled 'Man of Steel', the Sunday Times attributes the thousands of jobs saved in the industry largely to the sacking of Cyrus Mistry and Ratan Tata stepping in as interim chairman.

"Last week's abrupt change of heart owes much to a terse board meeting in Mumbai on October 24. At that meeting the board of Tata Sons, the parent company that sits astride an empire spanning steel to tea, sacked its chairman Cyrus Mistry and reinstated his predecessor Ratan Tata," the report said.

Describing Ratan Tata as the "architect" of the 6.1-billion-pound acquisition of Corus in 2007, it quotes insiders as saying that the 78-year-old tycoon was never comfortable with the idea of abandoning Tata SteelBSE -0.37 %'s Welsh plant at Port Talbot - the UK's largest steelworks.

"Now he is back at the helm, Port Talbot has won a reprieve," it notes.

Tata is said to have been painfully aware that the closure of Port Talbot would devastate the town already marred by poverty.

"As the head of the (Tata company) charity, Ratan is not like that. You don't want to get rid of vast chunks of people and create mass unemployment. Ratan was quite upset at the way he (Mistry) was dealing with Tata Steel. There were all these whispers that he (Ratan) did the wrong thing in buying Corus," the newspaper quotes an insider as saying.

Nearly 11,000 British workers at Tata Steel have been rejoicing after the company has indicated that it would not take any dividends from its British plants until their profit tops 200 million pounds a year.

The company made the pledge last week as part of a plan that will keep the Port Talbot site in south Wales open until at least 2021. It promised no job cuts for five years and to pump 1 billion pounds into its UK plants over 10 years.

Tata said in a statement, "The immediate target of 200 million pounds provides sufficient funds to invest in the business and to manage working capital needs. However, beyond this level the business will balance the needs of all its stakeholders, including the financing of dividends".

In return, workers must accept the closure of the British Steel Pension Scheme to future accruals.

Roy Rickhuss, secretary general of the steel union community, said, "Since March, the way people have been treated has been very hard. No one knew if they would have a job by Christmas. But we have to recognise that prior to March, Tata had invested significantly in the UK".

"This proposal would secure jobs for years to come and bring serious investment, not just to Port Talbot but steelworks across the UK," he said.

Meanwhile, the Brexit referendum in June has changed economics for Tata Steel.

Britain's vote to leave the EU, and the accompanying crash in sterling, have transformed the competitiveness of its UK operation. About 40 per cent of the output from British plants is exported.

Thanks to the cheaper pound, a business that was losing a million pounds a day just a few months ago is now back in the black.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

JSW Energy in talks to buy out Monnet Power’s Odisha plant

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JSW Energy, part of the Sajjan Jindal promoted JSW Group, is believed to have initiated talks for a possible acquisition of Monnet Power’s 1050 Mw (2x525) coal fired plant in Odisha at Angul, close to the site of another Jindal Group company- Jindal Steel & Power Ltd’s (JSPL) steel making facility.

“JSW Energy is looking at some unfinished power projects in Odisha. The company is eyeing Monnet Power’s asset for which talks have taken off”, said a source in the know of the development.

He said, valuation of the done was yet to be done as talks were still preliminary.

Monnet Power’s coal-based plant was in advanced stage of commissioning. Monnet Power’s parent company- Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd had won the Mandakini coal block in Odisha in competitive bidding, it surrendered the block later on grounds of economic unviability.

JSW Energy is increasingly betting on the inorganic route to augment its power capacity. In the past one year alone, the company is understood to have evaluated more than 30 proposals in its race for power assets acquisition.

Both JSW Energy and Monnet Power refused to comment on the prospective deal. An e-mail questionnaire sent to both remained unanswered.

At a recent earnings conference call Pramod Menon, director (finance) at JSW Energy said, the September quarter was not so encouraging for the company. “Compared on a year-on-year basis at plant levels, the generation was lower by about 17 per cent in Ratnagiri. At Vijayanagar, we have seen a sharp dip of about 63 per cent and in Barmer, a dip of about 8 per cent. The generation has been impacted at Barmer primarily on account of back down of the units, but at Vijayanagar, where we have seen a very sharp reduction, is primarily on account of our inability to get the schedule for the entire power plant. Wherever we have participated in bids, those processes are still continuing and have not got translated into firm offers”, Menon said during the conference call.

In September 2015, JSW Energy bought two hydro power projects—Baspa II and Karcham Wangtoo—from Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd for Rs 9,275 crore—lower than the originally agreed value of Rs9,700 crore. It also acquired the Bina thermal plant from Jaiprakash Power at an enterprise value of Rs 2,700 crore though it took Rs 3500 crore to build the power plant.

In May 2016, JSW Energy agreed to buy out a 1000 Mw power plant owned by JSPL in Chhattisgarh for Rs 4000 crore.

With a combined power capacity of around 4500 Mw, JSW Energy is today among the top four power producers in the country in the power sector alongside the likes of Adani Power, Vedanta and Tata Power.

Tata Steel to invest 1 billion pounds in UK plant, replace British Pension Scheme

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MUMBAI: Under the chairmanship of Ratan Tata, steelmaker Tata SteelBSE 4.39 % has reached a deal with the agitating trade unions of Tata Steel UK plant to invest 1 billion pounds in the loss making Port Talbot steel plant over the next 10 years, and also to avoid any compulsory job redundancies.

Tata Steel also started a process to close the expensive British Pension Scheme replace it by defined contribution scheme, which will lower uncertainty in payouts. The new scheme will have a maximum contributions of 10% from the company and 6% from employees, the unions said in a statement.

The unions added that according to the deal, apart from the comprehensive ten year 1 billion pound investment plan to support steel making at Port Talbot, Tata Steel will also secure the future of the downstream sites. Tata Steel said the Port Talbot plant will continue the existing blast furnace configuration in Port Talbot until 2021. Future investments will continue based on financial performance in the next 5 years.

Tata Steel's new strategy to continue to invest in UK is in sharp contrast to former Chairman Cyrus Mistry's strategy to either exit or merge UK steelmaking operation without any commitment on jobs. The company did not give any clarity on the ongoing discussion to merge with Thyssenkrupp.

“Tata Steel UK has developed a long-term investment plan to make the business more competitive in the future," said Koushik Chatterjee, Group Executive Director at Tata Steel and Executive Director for its European business.

"These significant commitments on production, jobs and investment are welcome. However to close the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) is of concern. After a detailed discussion, union reps have agreed to ballot all members on the proposal in the new year," said steel union Community in a statement.

Chatterjee added that the implementation of the transformation plan in the next couple of years, combined with a solution for the British Steel Pension Scheme fund, is essential to provide financial self-sufficiency for future investments and service financial obligation to stakeholders.

Tata Steel's UK operations have been saddled with a huge pension liability of 15 billion pounds for its 1.4 lakh employees including current and retired employees.

Tata Steel said it also offered an employment pact until 2021 which supports employees through future changes by investing in their skills to support further plant upgrades, automation and other digital initiatives.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Nishat to develop 660MW coal power plant under CPEC

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KARACHI: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has admitted the application of Nishat Energy Limited (NEL) for consideration of the grant of generation license for its 660 (megawatt) MW proposed thermal generation facility.

NEL to act as a special purpose vehicle and develop a 1x660 MW coal fired power plant at Liaqatpur Tehsil in Rahim Yar Khan.

The project is intended to be financed from the Chinese banks under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) government to government agreed framework as provided in the CPEC agreement wherein project Rahim Yar Khan is listed at no 12 in the designated projects list.

TBEA Xinjiang SunOasis Company Limited as a co- sponsor would provide technical and project financing proficiencies. TBEA is an upcoming thermal power project developer in China with a proven track record of developing, financing, constructing, and operating coal fired projects in China.

According to a letter of intent (LoI), the project company was diligently working towards the early implementation of the project, on a build own and operate (BOO) basis.

The construction of 660 MW power plants on super-critical technology would take approximately forty-eight months or less from the issuance of notice to proceed to the EPC contractor. The plant commissioning was expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. TBEA, as per the consortium agreement, has taken a lead role in procuring Chinese financing which would also ease the burden on Nishat from seeking project financing from local banking channel with visible foreign exchange liquidity constraints imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The electricity generated from this project would be supplied to the grid system of National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) Limited through a 500KV grid available in the vicinity of this project. The power generated by the project would be sold for the term of 30 years.

The proposed project site was located in Cholistan Development Authority's jurisdiction, Tehsil Liaquat Pur District Rahim Yar Khan. The entire Site land is owned by the Government without any private lease or encumbrance or occupation. The Company has already been issued a recommendation letter by the energy department by the Government of Punjab to the board of revenue Punjab for the allocation of land for the subject power project.

The target debt equity ratio is 80:20. While a LoI appended as Annex-G was also procured by a potential Chinese equity partner in favor of the project expressing willingness to finance the project subject to customary lenders' due diligence.

The sponsors intends to procure 100 percent of project debt from Chinese banks with support from a reputable Chinese equity partner as an overseas investment loan or an ECA tied financing package or any other financing program which the sponsors deem fit.

In this regard, the Nepra has invited all stakeholders, to submit their comments in favor / or against the grant of generation license to NEL.

Source: dailytimes.com

Bhopal: Solar photovoltaic power plant to be set up at ABV-IIITM, Gwalior

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BHOPAL: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Atal Behari Vajpayee Indian Institute for Information Technology & Management, Gwalior (ABV-IIITM) and Urja Vikas Nigam, for the setting up of a solar photovoltaic power plant, with a capacity of 700 KV.

The plant will be set up at ABV-IIITM, Gwalior under RESCO model. The funding will be provided by MP Urja Vikas Nigam and the Institute will not make any capital expenditure.

The Nigam’s chairman Vijendra Singh Sisodia and managing director Manu Shrivastava were present on the occasion.

Source: freepressjournal.in

UK largest steel plant deal edging closer

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Union leaders will put a new rescue plan into the UK's largest steel plant in return for concessions on staff terms.

London: Tata Steel is edging closer to a deal with UK steel workers' unions to keep its troubled Port Talbot plant, the country's largest in south Wales, open until at least 2020, a media report said today.

Union leaders will put a new rescue plan to its members this week, which could see investments into the UK's largest steel plant in return for concessions on staff terms and conditions, according to 'The Sunday Times'.

Central to the plan is retention of Port Talbot’s two blast furnaces, which turn iron ore and coke into molten iron. One is due to stop production in 2018 but unions have been fighting to keep it open.

If an agreement is reached with staff, the Indian steel giant will look into partial relining of the blast furnace as an upgrade that would extend its life by several years.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that union officials had held talks with Tata Steel bosses, including executive director Koushik Chatterjee, on the latest plan last Thursday.

They worked on a deal that would also see money injected into Tata Steel's other plants around the country, including Shotton, Corby and Llanwern.

The company has demanded curbs on the steel workers Final salary pension scheme in return for saving UK steel jobs and providing some security for the future of steel production in the UK.

"We are seeking a positive future for the UK business and during discussions with the trade unions we made substantial future assurances to achieve this," a Tata Steel statement said.

Source: asianage.com

3 special steel plants under SAIL get nod for stake sale

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KOLKATA: The government has in principle approved strategic disinvestment in three special steel plants under Steel Authority of India BSE -1.27 % Ltd: VISL Bhadrawati, Salem Steel Plant and Alloy Steels Plant, Durgapur.

As part of the disinvestment exercise, the government will hold auctions to identify strategic buyers for these units.

In a notification, SAILBSE -1.27 % said the steel ministry has informed the company of the inprinciple approval given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for the stake sale. “The disinvestment of these units will be to strategic buyers to be identified through a two-stage auction process as recommended by the Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment,” it said.

Visvesvaraya Iron & Steel Ltd, Bhadrawati, which was taken over by SAIL in 1997, produces alloy steel and pig iron. It was started by M Visvesvaraya, a diwan of Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the then ruler of Mysore, in 1923 under the name of Mysore Iron Works. The main objective was to tap the rich deposits of iron ore at Kemmanagudi to produce iron and steel.

VISL has an installed capacity of 2.16 lakh tonnes of hot metal and 98,280 tonne of alloy and special steel.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Adani to spend $300 million on two solar plants in Australia

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Adani aims to develop renewable energy projects in Australia with a capacity of 1,500 MW in the next five years.

Indian energy giant Adani Group has struck land deals in Australia to build two solar plants collectively valued at USD 300 million in a bid to develop 1,500 MW renewable capacity in five years, even as a court today dismissed appeals against its USD 16 billion coal and mine project. The contraction of AUD 200 million (USD 150 million approximately) each solar plants in south Australia’s Whyalla region and in Moranbah in the east of Australia will begin late next year, the company said.

The Whyalla project is to be completed in an year and is expected to create 350 jobs. It will involve a 120 MW solar generation plant, with potential capacity of up to 150MW, which would make it one of the largest solar farms in Australia. The company said it has secured a land deal with Whyalla city council for the project.
Adani aims to develop renewable energy projects in Australia with a capacity of 1,500 MW in the next five years. Its CEO of Australian operations, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said Adani looked forward to working with the Whyalla community to enhance the South Australian renewable energy industry.

“This is great news for Whyalla. For many years we have promoted Whyalla as a perfect location for solar energy production. We have sun, land, a skilled workforce and a supportive community. Those attributes have attracted the interest of Adani,” said Giles lawmaker Eddie Hughes.

“Construction of the plant will provide a boost to employment and it will provide one element in what is shaping up to be a much brighter future next year,” he said.
Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer said the council looked forward to the economic benefits the project would bring. “Whyalla City Council strongly supports renewable projects, and we believe Adani’s solar generator project will bring major benefits to the City of Whyalla and the region as a whole.”

Adani said the solar projects will be in addition to its investment in the planned Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin and rail and port facilities.
The Australian Supreme Court today dismissed appeals lodged by the Indigenous community member Adrian Burragubba as well as Brisbane-based environmental group Coast and Country against the company’s AUD 21 billion (USD 16 billion) coal and mine project.

Justice John Bond dismissed the group’s challenge to the environmental approval and Adrian Burragubba’s challenge to a Native Title Tribunal’s decision regarding the mine.

In a statement issued here, Adani Group welcomed the court decisions and said the decisions were “further positive steps towards starting work in the September Quarter 2017 on the Carmichael Mine in central western Queensland and associated projects.”

Source: indianexpress.com

Delhi to get its largest Waste-to-Energy power plant in a fortnight

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The national capital is likely to get its third and largest Waste-to-Energy power plant within the next fortnight. The 24 Megawatt capacity plant has been set up at a cost of Rs 46 crore by civic body North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC)

New Delhi: The national capital is likely to get its third and largest Waste-to-Energy power plant within the next fortnight. The 24 Megawatt capacity plant has been set up at a cost of Rs 46 crore by civic body North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).

NDMC is planning to officially inaugurate the Narela-Bawana plant, near the Haryana border, by the beginning of December. "We are hoping to finally receive an approval letter from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) though trials had begun in July 2016,” NDMC spokesperson YS Mann told ETEnergyWorld.

Waste-to-energy uses trash as a fuel for generating power. The burning fuel heats water into steam that drives a turbine to create electricity. The process can reduce a community’s landfill volume by up to 90 percent, and prevent one tonne of carbon dioxide release for every tonne of waste burned.

Apart from the project cost, NDMC will also spend around Rs 36 crore for waste management. The plant, set up with technical assistance of experts from Austria, would process 1,300 tonne of waste every day.

Hyderabad-based Ramky Group will operate the new plant. The company was awarded the contract to collect garbage from households and separate it into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. The energy firm will convert the organic matter into manure and process only the non-organic waste in the WTE plant.

Delhi currently has two working waste-to-energy plants in Ghazipur and Okhla. The Ghazipur plant receives more than 1,200 tonne of waste everyday generating 12 Mw of power. The Okhla project uses around 1,300 tonne of waste producing 16 Mw electricity.

Source: energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Jindal Stainless may bid for Salem Steel Plant

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Jindal Stainless may be interested in bidding for Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL)’s Salem Steel Plant, according to sources.

Salem Steel Plant in Tamil Nadu and the Visesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant in Karnataka, both owned by SAIL, are among the firms identified by Narendra Modi government for divestment. The aim is to make the two loss-making units profitable.

The landmark plant in Salem was established in 1970 and employs over 2,000 people. The plant has been making continuous losses. Its losses have increased to Rs. 349 crore in 2015-16 from nearly Rs. 100 crore in 2011-12.

The plan to privatise Salem Steel plant has been opposed by all the political parties in Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu government has said it would not allow any privatisation in the State, amid protest by the unions.

It is reliably learnt that Jindal Stainless is keen on picking up stakes in the public sector company during the disinvestment exercise. However, officials are cautious in acknowledging it. “We have not decided anything on the issue of buying stake in SAIL’s Salem plant. The company always evaluates such decisions as per the prevailing business scenario,” a spokesperson of Jindal Stainless said.

A SAIL official declined to comment on the issue. This is not the first time the Government is trying to privatise the Salem Steel Plant. A similar attempt 13 years ago failed both for political and strategic reasons.

In 2003, 51 per cent of controlling stake of SAIL in Salem Steel Plant was up for sale and there were initially two bidders for the stake — the Tata Steel-Unisor combine and Jindal Strips.

Later, Tata Steel-Unisor pulled out saying it did not see any strategic sense in the deal, making Jindal Strips the sole bidder. But the Jindal Strips deal also did not go through due to disagreement over the sale price. Experts say that with the mounting losses of the Salem Steel plant, pricing of the deal would be the key.

“Last time, SAIL wanted to encash on the Salem plant’s brand goodwill. However, the value could not be realised at that time. The same problem would persist now as well,” Professor Kamal Ghosh Ray, an expert on mergers and acquisitions, said.

Source: thehindu.com

ConocoPhillips aims to sell up to $8 billion in gas assets

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ConocoPhillips (COP.N), the largest U.S. independent oil producer, will sell up to $8 billion in natural gas assets and trim its capital budget by 4 percent next year to provide funds to bolster operations, executives said on Thursday.

The moves highlighted not only the energy industry's increasing push for efficiency gains that reduce the cost of drawing oil and natural gas from the earth but also low commodity prices, which have hampered Conoco and peers the past two years.

Shares of the Houston-based company fell about 1 percent to $45.21 in afternoon trading as U.S. oil prices CLc1 fell about 1 percent.

The asset sale alone reflects a bold move by Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance to reduce the company's $28.7 billion debt load.

"We're a very large company and those assets aren't big for us," Lance said in an interview. "We recognize that we need to accelerate the value proposition for some investors and accelerate the removal of debt from the balance sheet."

Conoco plans to sell $5 billion to $8 billion in North American natural gas assets, a divestiture that is massive in its size and scope. For example, Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N), the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, has a $5 billion market valuation.

The spending reduction comes after Conoco more than halved its budget last year. Indeed, its 2015 capex had eclipsed $10 billion.

"You can't count on rising commodity prices to bail out your business model," Lance said. "You have to position your business for the commodity price cycles."

Lance, CEO since 2012, said the spending cuts, asset sales and other steps should help the company be profitable with Brent oil prices LCOc1 of $50 per barrel. Brent traded at $45.96 on Thursday.

Most of the budget next year will be spent on shale projects in the contiguous United States, with some focus on Alaska and Europe, as well as maintenance of existing operations.

The focus is smaller than earlier this decade, when ConocoPhillips operated in more than 28 locations around the globe. Today it operates in about 14, a smaller portfolio that executives said would further help focus capital.

The spending should result in 2017 production of 1.54 million to 1.57 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, which would be a slight increase from estimated 2016 output, executives said.

The company also announced a $3 billion share repurchase program. The buybacks will start this quarter, the company said.

Source: reuters.com

ASSOCHAM urges for setting up road transport regulatory authority

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Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has mooted a proposal to the Union Government to constitute an appropriate authority either at the Central or state level to fix the ceiling on road freight rates and breaking local monopolies.

Transporters charge exorbitant rates for movement of iron ore and other raw materials from mines and ports to steel plants, besides they also prevent free competition through their dominating presence in local areas, said ASSOCHAM highlighting the double whammy being faced by the domestic steel sector.

ASSOCHAM also submitted various suggestions to the Union Steel Ministry to bring back India's steel sector on growth trajectory.

There is an urgent need to withdraw import duty of five per cent imposed upon metallurgical coke and coking coal to restore competitiveness of the domestic steel industry, ASSOCHAM highlighted in a paper submitted to the Union Steel Ministry highlighting various issues that are restricting growth of the sector.

It also urged the Steel Ministry to bring down rate of royalty on iron ore to reduce the cost of raw materials for steel plants.

About 15 per cent royalty rate on iron ore together with district mineral foundation (DMF) at 30 per cent translates into royalty burden on end user of 19.5 per cent of iron ore cost, it noted.

The apex chamber requested to reduce the DMF rate for new mines from 10 per cent for captive consumption of iron ore.

Considering that higher transport costs result in higher costs of production of steel in India, there is an urgent need to bring down freight tariff rates by up to 25 per cent across all raw material and steel products to gain competitive edge.

It is also imperative to prevent import of cheap steel in India through a combination of minimum import price (MIP) and import duties/safeguard duties on a sustained basis.

ASSOCHAM has also suggested that inclusion of pig iron, sponge iron and billets in the list of products covered under MIP since protection for upstream primary reduction of iron is equally vital.

Further, banks should extend working capital loans to steel companies on a priority basis, especially those which have not defaulted on interest payment, while structural problems relating to high debts of various steel companies would take time to resolve.

There is also a need to create a special funding mechanism for providing capital for brown-field expansion of capacities at the existing steel mills, more so as commercial viability of brown field expansion of steel plants is significantly higher than greenfield plants.

Sharing certain budget proposals, ASSOCHAM has reiterated its demand to accord strategic industry status to steel sector. Besides it also suggested to bring import duty on coking coal and metallurgical coke down to zero.

A comprehensive package for steel sector should be unveiled encompassing special financing arm for providing capital for expansion of capacities, easy extension of working capital loans, long-term policy on freight tariffs and augmenting transportation infrastructure capacity to meet needs of steel production.

Besides it should also include total revamp of process for grant of statutory approvals for mines and steel plants, long-term policy to prevent cheap imports of steel products and security of raw materials.

Source: business-standard.com

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By using this website all users agree to the stated terms & conditions relating to access and use of this site. If you do not agree then please abandon this webpage.

WEBSITE- MERELY A VENUE/PLATFORM

Web site acts as a mere venue/platform for our members to promote/find offers such as new, old machinery and equipments or running plants. We do not take part in the actual transaction that takes place between the buyers and sellers and hence are not a party to any contract for sale negotiated between buyers and sellers. All transactions will be the responsibility of the members only. This agreement shall not be deemed to create any partnership, joint venture, or other joint business relationship between THE SITE and other party.

POSTING YOUR CONTENT ON WEBSITE

Some of the content displayed on the website is provided or posted by third parties. User(s) can post their content on some of the sections/services of the web site using the self-help submit and edit tools provided at the respective section. User(s) may need to register and/or pay for some of these services. The Site in such case is not the author. The content here is contributed by anonymous, registered or paid user(s). Neither the Site nor any of its affiliates, directors, officers or employees has entered into sale agency relationship with such third party by virtue of our display of the Third Party Content on the website. Any Third Party content is the sole responsibility of the party who has provided the content. The Site is not responsible for the accuracy, propriety, lawfulness or truthfulness of any Third Party content, and shall not be liable to any user(s) in connection with his/her reliance on such Third Party content. In addition, the site is not responsible for the conduct of user(s) activities on the web site, and shall not be liable to any person in connection with any damage suffered by any person as a result of any such user's conduct.

USER(S) SOLELY REPRESENT, WARRANT AND AGREE TO:

(a) Provide the Site with true, accurate, current and complete information to be displayed on the web site and (b) Maintain and promptly amend all information to keep it true, accurate, current and complete.

User(s) hereby grant an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide and royalty-free, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers) license to the site to display and use all information provided by them in accordance with the purposes set forth in agreement and to exercise the copyright, publicity, and database rights you have in such material or information, in any form of media, third party copyrights, trademarks, trade secret rights, patents and other personal or proprietary rights affecting or relating to material or information displayed on the web site, including but not limited to rights of personality and rights of privacy, or affecting or relating to products that are offered or displayed on the web site (hereafter referred to as "Third Party Rights"). User(s) hereby represent, warrants and agree that user(s) shall be solely responsible for ensuring that any material or information you post on the web site or provide to web site or authorize the web site to display, does not, and that the products represented thereby do not, violate any Third Party Rights, or is posted with the permission of the owner(s) of such rights. User(s) hereby represent, warrant and agree that they have the right to manufacture, offer, sell, import and distribute the products offered and displayed on the web site, and that such manufacture, offer, sale, importation and/or distribution of those products violates no Third Party Rights.

USER(S) HEREBY REPRESENT, WARRANT AND AGREE THAT INFORMATION SUBMITTED TO THE SITE FOR DISPLAY ON THE WEB SITE WILL NOT:

Contain fraudulent information or make fraudulent offers of items or involve the sale or attempted sale of counterfeit or stolen items or items whose sales and/or marketing is prohibited by applicable law, or otherwise promote other illegal activities;

Be part of a scheme to defraud other User(s) of the web site or for any other unlawful purpose;

Relate to sale of products or services that infringe or otherwise abet or encourage the infringement or violation of any third party's copyright, patent, trademarks, trade secret or other proprietary right or rights of publicity or privacy, or any other Third Party Rights;

Violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation (including without limitation those governing export control, consumer protection, unfair competition, anti-discrimination or false advertising);

Be defamatory, libelous, unlawfully threatening or unlawfully harassing

Be obscene or contain or infer any pornography or sex-related merchandising or any other content or otherwise promotes sexually explicit materials or is otherwise harmful to minors;

Promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age;

Contain any material that constitutes unauthorized advertising or harassment (including but not limited to spamming), invades anyone's privacy or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law or regulation;

Solicit business from any User(s) in connection with a commercial activity that competes with the Site;

Contain any computer viruses or other destructive devices and codes that have the effect of damaging, interfering with, intercepting or expropriating any software or hardware system, data or personal information;

Link directly or indirectly to or include descriptions of goods or services that are prohibited under the prevailing law; or

Otherwise create any liability for the Site or its affiliates.

The Site reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any material/content/photos/offers displayed on the web site which it reasonably believes is unlawful, could subject the Site to liability, violates the terms and conditions and/or Agreement or is otherwise found inappropriate in the Site's opinion. Web site reserves the right to cooperate fully with governmental authorities, private investigators and/or injured third parties in the investigation of any suspected criminal or civil wrongdoing.

In connection with any of the foregoing, web site may suspend or terminate the Account of any User as web site deems appropriate in its sole discretion. User(s) agree that web site shall have no liability to any User(s), including no liability for consequential or any other damages, in the event web site takes any of the actions mentioned in this Section, and that you agree to bear the risk that web site may take such actions.

Web site acts as a content integrator and is not responsible for the information provided by user(s) to be displayed on the web site. The Site do not have any role in developing the content.

The Site provides an on-line platform for exchanging information between buyers and suppliers of Plant, Machinery & Equipments. Web site does not represent the seller or the buyer in specific transactions and does not charge any commission for enabling any transaction. Web site does not control and is not liable to or responsible for the quality, safety, lawfulness or availability of the products or services offered for sale on the web site or the ability of the suppliers to complete a sale or the ability of buyers to complete a purchase. User(s) are cautioned that there may be risks of dealing with foreign nationals or people acting under false pretenses. Web site uses several techniques (such as Plant Bee Verified) to verify the accuracy and authenticity of the information our user(s) provide us. However, since it is not possible in all cases and is not 100% fool-proof, the Site cannot and does not confirm each user(s) purported identity (including, without limitation Plant Bee Verified members). Plant Bee encourages user(s) to use various tools available on the web site and otherwise, as well as common sense, to evaluate the user(s) with whom they would like to deal with.

User(s) acknowledge that user(s) fully assume the risks of purchase and sale transactions when using the web site to conduct transactions, and that user(s) fully assume the risks of liability or harm of any kind in connection with subsequent activity of any kind relating to products or services that are the subject of transactions using the web site.

Such risks shall include, but are not limited to, mis-representation of products and services, fraudulent schemes, unsatisfactory quality, failure to meet specifications, defective or dangerous products, unlawful products, delay or default in delivery or payment, cost mis-calculations, breach of warranty, breach of contract and transportation accidents. Such risks also include the risks that the manufacture, importation, distribution, offer, display, purchase, sale and/or use of products or services offered or displayed on the web site may violate or may be asserted to violate Third Party Rights, and the risk that you may incur costs of defense or other costs in connection with third parties' assertion of Third Party Rights, or in connection with any claims by any party that they are entitled to defense or indemnification in relation to assertions of rights, demands or claims by Third Party Rights claimants. Such risks also include the risks that consumers, other purchasers, end-users of products or others claiming to have suffered injuries or harms relating to product originally obtained by user(s) of the web site as a result of purchase and sale transactions in connection with using the web site may suffer harms and/or assert claims arising from their use of such products. All of the foregoing risks are hereafter referred to as "Transaction Risks".

User(s) agree that Plant Bee shall not be liable or responsible for any damages, liabilities, costs, harms, inconveniences, business disruptions or expenditures of any kind that may occur/arise as a result of or in connection with any Transaction Risks. User(s) are solely responsible for all of the terms and conditions of the transactions conducted on, through or as a result of use of the web site, including, without limitation, terms regarding payment, returns, warranties, shipping, insurance, fees, taxes, title, licenses, fines, permits, handling, transportation and storage. In the event of a dispute with any party to a transaction, user(s) agrees to release and indemnify the Site (and our agents, affiliates, directors, officers, employees and associated sites and mini sites) from all claims, demands, actions, proceedings, costs, expenses and damages (including without limitation any actual, special, incidental or consequential damages) arising out of or in connection with such transaction. User(s) may use the content/features on web site solely for their personal or internal purposes. User(s) agree that they will not use Plant Bee database and/or services to send junk mail, chain letters or spamming or the transmission of any unlawful, harassing, libelous, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, obscene or otherwise objectionable material of any kind or nature. Further, as a Registered User, user(s) will not use the Email Account to publish, distribute, transmit or circulate any unsolicited advertising or promotional information or any content that is obscene, indecent, seditious, offensive, defamatory, threatening, or which incites or results in causing racial hatred, discrimination, menace or breach of confidence.

The site reserves the right to add/modify/discontinue any of the features offered with a service.

AMENDMENT TO USER(S) AGREEMENT

Plant Bee may change, modify, amend, or update this agreement from time to time without any prior notification to user(s) and the amended and restated terms and conditions of use shall be effective immediately on posting. If you do not adhere to the changes, you must stop using the service. Your continuous use of the service will signify your acceptance of the changed terms.

COPYRIGHT

All content on this web site is the copyright of Plant Bee except the third party content and link to third party web site on our website.

Plant Bee is not an expert in your intellectual property rights, and we cannot verify that the users of our online marketplace - who post various trade leads on the website - have the right to sell the goods offered. We will appreciate your assistance in identifying listings which may not appear on their face to infringe your rights but which you believe are infringing. Plant Bee is also not an arbiter or judge of disputes about intellectual property rights. By taking down a listing, as a prudential matter, Plant Bee is not endorsing a claim of infringement. Neither, in those instances in which Plant Bee declines to take down a listing, is Plant Bee determining that the listing is not infringing, nor is Plant Bee endorsing the sale of goods in such cases.

Plant Bee respects the intellectual property rights of others, and we expect our user(s) to do the same. Plant Bee believes that user(s) agree that they will not copy, download & reproduce any information, text, images, video clips, directories, files, databases or listings available on or through the web site (the "Plant Bee content") for the purpose of re-selling or re-distributing, mass mailing (via email, wireless text messages, physical mail or otherwise), operating a business competing with Plant Bee, or otherwise commercially exploiting the Plant Bee content. Systematic retrieval of Plant Bee content to create or compile, directly or indirectly, a collection, compilation, database or directory (whether through robots, spiders, automatic devices or manual processes) without written permission from Plant Bee is prohibited.

In addition, use of the content for any purpose not expressly permitted in this Agreement is prohibited and may invite legal action. As a condition of your access to and use of Plant Bee's services, you agree that you will not use the web site service to infringe the intellectual property rights of others in any way. Plant Bee reserves the right to terminate the account of a user(s) upon any infringement of the rights of others in conjunction with use of the Plant Bee service, or if Plant Bee believes that user(s) conduct is harmful to the interests of Plant Bee, its affiliates, or other users, or for any other reason in Plant Bee's sole discretion, with or without cause.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Plant Bee is the sole owner or lawful licensee of all the rights to the web site and its content. Web site content means its design, layout, text, images, graphics, sound, video etc. The web site content embody trade secrets and intellectual property rights protected under worldwide copyright and other laws. All title, ownership and intellectual property rights in the web site and its content shall remain with PlantBee.com, its affiliates or licensor's of PlantBee.com content, as the case may be.

All rights not otherwise claimed under this agreement or by PlantBee.com, are hereby reserved. The information contained in this web site is intended, solely to provide general information for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. Plant Bee does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any information, or advertisements (collectively, the "content") contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained on this web site, or the quality of any products, information or other materials displayed, or obtained by you as a result of an advertisement or any other information or offer in or in connection with the service.

TERMINATION

Most content and some of the features on the web site are made available to visitors free of charge. However, the Site reserves the right to terminate access to certain areas or features of the web site (to paying or registered users) at any time for any reason, with or without notice. The site also reserves the universal right to deny access to particular users to any/all of its services/content without any prior notice/explanation in order to protect the interests of the Site and/or other visitors to the web site. The Site reserves the right to limit, deny or create different access to the web site and its features with respect to different user(s), or to change any of the features or introduce new features without prior notice.

All rights reserved.

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