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By Nageshwar Patnaik in Bhubaneswar, May 27, 2017 : The commissioning of the four million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel plant at the Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL)’s Angul facility in Odisha on Saturday brings little cheer to the debt-trapped Company.

Speaking to media persons after the inauguration of the plant by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, JSPL chairman, Naveen Jindal asserted that the commissioning of the plant would contribute a lot in the financial turnaround of the company.

Mr Jindal said, the company has invested Rs 33,000 crore at the Angul complex till date of which Rs 24,000 crore was debt with the interest payout estimated at about Rs 200 crore per month.

“We hope the newly installed 4 MPTA steel unit will start contributing to interest payout from July onwards”, he said.

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The newly built 4 MTPA facility has enhanced the total steelmaking capacity at Angul to 6 MPTA and the total steel capacity of the company to 10.75 million tonne, making it the fourth largest steel producers in the country.

The company has been operating a two-MTPA unit at Angul since 2015, which produced steel through coal gasification-DRI route.

To get hot metal for the newly installed four MTPA steel making module at Angul, JSPL has installed 4,554 cubic meter size blast furnace at the site, which the Company claims to be India’s largest furnace till date.

The Angul steel complex of the company also has four MTPA sinter plant, two MTPA coke oven, three MTPA steel melting shop, 1.2 MTPA plate mill, 1.4 MTPA bar mill and a 810 Mw captive power plant.

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Talking to media persons after the inauguration, Jindal said, his initial plan to come to Angul was to produce steel using the path breaking coal gasification route. But the cancellation of coal block in 2014 was a big jolt following which he has set up the second module of 4 MPTA at Angul using the blast furnace and SMS (steel melting shop) route.

“We suffered a lot due to coal block cancellation and losses (for the Angul project) have mounted to about Rs 7,000 crore to 8000 crore. It will take some time to stabilise the unit. We will gradually step up production from the new unit from 60,000 tonnes this month to 150,000 tonnes in June, 200,000 tonnes in July, 300,000 tonnes in August and hope to reach the rated capacity of four MTPA in the next fiscal”, he said.

The steel plant at Angul requires about 11 million tonnes of iron ore annually and the Company will source about 1.5 million tonnes) from the company’s own mine at Tensa in Sundergarh district, while the rest will be procured from the market.

“We are working on raw material security for the project and participating in auction of iron ore mines”, Jindal said adding that he did not believe in winning the auction with a higher price.

Complementing Jindal for the excellent housekeeping in the steel complex, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said, “More than 20% of India’s Steel is produced in Odisha. I am extremely pleased to note that this project of JSPL has the potential of providing direct employment to 30,000 people and indirect employment to more than one lakh people”.