Though NINL officials are tight-lipped, market sources claim NINL's blast furnace at Duburi (Odisha) is already under shutdown for over two weeks now. With MMTC clogging cash flows, NINL was forced to bite the bullet by going for temporary closure of the blast furnace whose capital repair it successfully completed in May 2018.
SEFI's general secretary Bimal Kumar Bisi claimed that the proposed merger will be a hassle-free process since it involved transfer of shares by MMTC and other PSUs to SAIL. In his letter to the Prime Minister, Bisi pointed out how SAIL, in the past, had made several abortive attempts to take over NINL and it is prudent to revive the proposal now since MMTC, the main promoter has decided to quit the steel venture.
Detailing NINL's strengths Bisi said, the steel plant possesses 2500 acres of unencumbered land suffice to expand capacity to five million tonne, a state-of-the-art coke oven battery with dry quenching facility, an already commissioned Steel Melting Shop (SMS), proximity to the major port at Paradeep and to top it all an iron ore mine boasting of 110 million tonne deposits and with a lease validity spanning 50 years.
According to the contents of the letter, Mecon has revalued the assets of NINL at approximately Rs 8300 crore on conservative estimates. NINL's liabilities are below Rs 5000 crore.