SAIL set to leverage domestic growth potential, banks on new product mix

A man stands next to an advertisement of Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) at a street in New Delhi, India. Photo: Reuters
SAIL chairman P K Singh has said world economic recovery is on track and a pickup in global growth presents a healthy sign for industrial and manufacturing activities across the globe.

"India is projected to become the world's fifth largest economy in 2017, surpassing the United Kingdom (UK) and France, and the world's third-largest economy by 2023, surpassing Japan and Germany. India's GDP is projected to rise from $2.2 trillion in 2016 to $3.6 trillion by 2020. This augurs well for businesses that are focused on domestic growth in the future," Singh said. He added that such kind of growth will definitely create greater steel demand and boost consumption in the country.

The state-owned company has taken a plethora of measures, including value addition in the current product mix, in order to improve performance during the financial year 2017-18.

"SAIL has done significant value addition in its product mix. Continuous product development efforts are being made with intensive research and development (R&D) efforts, especially from the new state of art mills commissioned under the Modernisation and Expansion Plan," the SAIL chairman said while addressing the 45th Annual General Meeting of the company in New Delhi on Friday.

Singh said the World Steel Association has estimated 6.1 per cent growth in steel consumption in India during 2017.

SAIL since its inception has produced 475 million tonnes (MT) of crude steel and has partnered in all major national projects requiring steel. It achieved 14 per cent higher turnover during FY17 over the previous year due to increase in sales volume, which grew by 8 per cent, and net sales realisation of saleable steel of five integrated steel plants that increased by around 6 per cent.

"The increase in net sales realisation was partly due to an overall improvement in price levels and partly due to measures towards enriching the company's product mix," Singh said.

The already operational new facilities were ramped up during the year as part of the firm's modernisation and expansion plan. A new blast furnace at the Rourkela steel plant (RSP) achieved 100 per cent capacity level, whereas, other facilities like the new plate mill (NPM) also clocked production close to their projected capacities. Almost all of them are near to operating at a 100 per cent capacity.

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