JSW Steel – the country’s largest steel producer – increased its share of pulverized coal imports from Russia to nearly 10-15% from 2-3% previously; its deputy managing director, Vinod Nowal, said Activity area.
Pulverized coal is an important auxiliary fuel used in the manufacture of iron in blast furnaces.
PCI or pulverized coal injection is a process of injecting large volumes of fine coal particles into the blast furnace. It provides an auxiliary fuel for the partial replacement of coke and is considered economical and environmentally friendly (by improving the efficiency of blast furnaces).
The coal was obtained using the Far East route, market sources said.
“Pulverized coal supplies from Russia are on the rise. Previously it was in the range of 2-3% of our total supplies and now it is up to 10-15%,” he said on the sidelines of an ASSOCHAM event. Nowal is also Chairman of ASSOCHAM’s National Iron and Steel Council.
According to Nowal, steel prices have seen a decline in recent weeks, but would see corrections as the global economy stabilizes. Demand projections for India continue to be around 6-8% (growth per year).
“However, rising input costs, including that of imported coking coal and petroleum coke, are of concern. You see, imported coal prices shot up to $700 a ton after the Ukraine-Russia war; and have now corrected to $500 per ton. Even then, it’s quite high compared to what was said a year ago. Other inputs like iron ore costs are still high. So there is definitely an impact on the margin of Indian steel mills,” he said.
European steel prices fell by around $100 per tonne in the past month, while in India hot rolled coil prices fell to Rs 72,000-73,000 per tonne from Rs 76,000 – 77,000 per tonne in March.
Nowal added that the company’s previously announced expansion plans are on track; which include the 5 million tonnes per annum plant being prepared at Vijaynagar in Karnataka with an estimated investment of Rs 15,000 crore. The plant is expected to be completed by March 2024.
The JSW Steel Vijayanagar Works is the largest single-site integrated steel plant in India with a current capacity of 12 MTPA (million tonnes per annum).
The company’s Utkal project in Odisha (JSW Utkal Steel Ltd) has received environmental clearance for the 13.2 MTPA capacity Greenfiled Integrated Steel Project, it added.
Capital expenditure for the integrated steel plant project is expected to be around Rs 65,000 crore, including associated facilities (like slurry pipeline, port connectivity, its own jetty, etc.). Phased work on the project will begin soon.
May 21, 2022