‘Modernisation of blast furnace will generate jobs’

‘Modernisation of blast furnace will generate jobs’

Union Minister of Steel Chaudhary Birender Singh, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and others at the inauguration of 1.3 MW capacity solar power plant, KIOCL Blast Furnace Unit, at Panambur on Wednesday.

Chaudhary Birender Singh said on Wednesday that KIOCL has proposed to set up unit for the production of Ductile Iron Spun Pipe, coke over batteries.

The proposal followed the modernisation of the blast furnace unit of KIOCL.

Singh was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the 1.3 MW capacity solar power plant and laying the foundation for the modernisation of the blast furnace unit of KIOCL at Panambur.

He said that the estimated cost of the modernisation of the blast furnace unit and the setting up of plants for the diversification of activities would be Rs 820 crore. “Once commissioned, the plant will produce 5 lakh tonne Ductile Iron Spun Pipes with a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore. The plant will also provide employment to 5,000 to 6,000 people in the region. The blast furnace unit is two decades old and had remained idle for the past few years,” said the minister.

Singh said that the KIOCL should not stop at marketing its products but conduct or participate in programmes for the use of pellets in the manufacture of steel and also for the manufacture of special grade pellets. KIOCL should also work to compete with international players in the market, he urged.

The minister insisted that the KIOCL should work on becoming a ‘Maharatna’ from being a ‘Mini Ratna’ PSU.

Laying stress on solar energy for self sufficiency in energy requirement of KIOCL, Singh said that the KIOCL has proposed to set up a 5 MW solar power plant in Karnataka. “Tender formalities have been completed for the solar power plant and will be commissioned in three to six months. If the land is available, we will try to instal the solar power plants in order to reduce dependency on external power. The power consumption of KIOCL and its housing colonies is 30 MW,” explained the minister.

“The Domestically Manufactured Iron and Steel Products Policy, with preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products, has already resulted in bringing down foreign exchange outflow to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore. The consumption of steel is growing at the rate of 5% in the country,” he added.

Singh directed the KIOCL to take up R&D on the effective utilisation of iron ore slime deposited at Lakhya dam, in Kudremukh.

About 300 million tonnes of slime are available at the Lakhya dam.

The KIOCL signed MoUs with the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and the NITK, Surathkal, on the occasion.

KIOCL Director (Production) Vidyananda and SAIL Director Ganesh Vishwakarma exchanged an MoU to explore the feasibility of setting up a pellet plant at the SAIL plant.

“The KIOCL will set up a pellet plant on a joint venture mode to fulfil the requirement of pellets supply to SAIL,” said Vidyananda.

He also exchanged an MoU with NITK, Surathkal Deputy Director Ananthanarayana to take up R&D projects together in the areas of beneficiation and pelletisation of iron ore and other projects.

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