Tata Steel sees domestic demand growth this fiscal

April 10th, 2009 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, April 10 (IANS) Despite the present global economic slowdown, the country’s largest steel producer Tata Steel expects 4-5 percent growth in domestic demand in 2009-10, a top company official said here Friday.
“Impact of global recession is much less in India. We plan to produce and sell 20 percent more in the current year from our Indian operations,” company managing director B. Muthuraman said.

Tata Steel witnessed an 11 percent jump in saleable steel production to 5.3 million tonnes in 2008-09, as against 4.8 million tonnes the previous year.

Talking about Anglo-Dutch company Corus, which Tata Steel acquired in October 2006, Muthuraman said it would likely save 638 million pounds in 2008-09 from cost-cutting measures.

“We plan to have one billion pounds from our Corus operations in the current financial year,” he said.

Asked to specify the measures, Muthuraman said overheads would be cut, procurement process restructured, carbon credits hedged and staff cost reduced.

The company had earlier stated it had taken lots of measure in the short-term to save cost by product-mix changes, conserving cash and reducing working capital.

Muthuraman said Tata Steel is now concentrating on three projects - one iron ore mine in South Africa with a reserve of 50 million tonnes, another in Canada with 100 million tonnes, and a coal mine in Mozambique with 2.1 billion tonnes.

The steel major had last October, through its Singaporean arm, bought 19.9 percent stake in Canadian mining company New Millenium Capital Corp, which have it access to iron ore reserves in excess of 100 million tonnes in the North American country.

In 2007, it acquired a 35 percent stake in Riversdale Mining’s Mozambique Coal.

Regarding Kalinganagar project in Orissa, Muthuraman said: “Work will start once the elections are over. We are still waiting for iron ore allocation from the government. Once that is done we will speed up our work.”

The company is setting up a greenfield project with a six-million-tonne annual production capacity at Kalinganagar in Jajpur district on an investment of Rs.15,400 crore.

He said the expansion work at Jamshedpur plant, which would take its annual production capacity to six million tonnes, would be over by April 2011.

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