Snag at Tata Steel Kalinganagar plant puts spanner in its output target

The unscheduled shutdown of Blast Furnace at Tata Steel's Kalinganagar plant is set to deprive the unit of achieving its targeted capacity of 3 million tonne this fiscal.

The Blast Furnace was shut down because of a technical snag on 29th of last month and would be put back in operation in another week's time. The loss of production due to the shutdown is estimated to be around 0.15 million tonne.

Added to the struggle to reach and maintain the monthly average production target of 0.25 million tonne due to the teething problem of a new plant, the total shortfall in targeted output is put at 0.2 to 0.3 million tonne.

"We expect to close the year with an output of 2.7 to 2.8 million tonne", said Anand Sen, president, TQM & Steel Business at Tata Steel. 

In a statement to Business Standard, chief spokesperson of the company, India and South East Asia, Kulvin Suri on Thursday said, "The Blast Furnace at Tata Steel Kalinganagar has been running at its rated capacity. However, due to an auxiliary equipment failure it had to be put down on January 29, 2018 which was unplanned".

"Since the downstream operations are integrated to the Blast Furnace, Steel Melting Shop (SMS) and Hot Strip Mill (HSM) have taken shutdown. The revival process of the furnace is underway and it is expected to be up in 7 days from today", he added.

Tata Steel's Kalinganagar unit went into production in November, 2015 with a first phase capacity of 3 million tonne. The company board has approved a plan to expand the plant capacity to 8 million tonne at a cost of Rs 23.5 billion. The expansion work will be completed within 48 months from the zero date. "The work on the ground for the second phase will start soon", Sen said.

The plant, which was initially servicing segments like HR (hot-rolled) commercial, LPG cylinders, precision tubes and railways, has added pre-engineered buildings (PEB), lifting & excavation (L&E), construction & projects and oil & gas segments to its product basket. After the addition of a cold-rolling facility at Kalinganagar in the second phase, it intends to cater to the automobiles sector in a big way.

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