Govt to rope in Nippon to train SAIL staff

Govt to rope in Nippon to train SAIL staff

"We met Nippon Steel officials in Japan. We asked them if they can train our people (SAIL officials) and enhance their technical skills. We are keen to have such collaborations with them at present," Steel Secretary Atul Chaturvedi told reporters. SAIL had a manpower strength of 1.16 lakh as on April 1, 2010. In India, Nippon Steel is already in pact with Tata Steel to produce autograde steel.

Meanwhile, the Secretary, who recently led a delegation comprising SAIL Chairman S K Roongta among others to South Korea and Japan, said that an agreement between SAIL and Posco to set up steel plants in India is expected by September. "A deal between SAIL and Posco to set up steel plants in India under a joint venture could be signed in the next 3-4 months," he added.

SAIL Chairman S K Roongta had on Tuesday said that it will set up two plants in alliance with Posco and is "in serious stages of discussions" on the project. Besides Posco and Nippon, SAIL is also in talks with ArcelorMittal and Tata Steel for setting steel plants in the country as its aims to raise annual production capacity to 60 million tonnes by 2020 from 14 million tonnes at present.

Chaturvedi said SAIL will set up a plant with an annual production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes in JV with Posco using its Finex technology, which makes steel on iron ore fines and non-coking coal, at Bokaro in Jharkhand. "Posco is seeking a majority stake in the JV plant to come at Jharkhand. We are not averse to that. More meeting will be held between both the companies," Chaturvedi added.

SAIL is also looking to build a Cold-Rolled Non-Oriented steel plant-- products of which are mainly used by electrical sector-- in Maharashtra, he said. Though he did not elaborate on the proposed investment, experts say both these projects could cost about Rs 15,000 crore.

SAIL and Posco had entered into an MoU last year to explore JV opportunities in India. Posco has been awaiting regulatory approvals for its Rs 54,000-crore integrated steel project in Orissa for the last five years. The JV plant in Jharkhand would give access to huge tracts of land available with SAIL in Bokaro where the PSU already runs a 3.5 million tonnes per annum plant and is expanding its production capacity to about 7 MTPA by 2011-12 at an estimated investment of about Rs 10,000 crore.

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