RSP modernisation to help SAIL boost presence in plates market

Rourkela: The Rs 12,000-crore modernisation and expansion programme in the Rourkela Steel plant would help SAIL strengthen its presence in the plates market in the country.

A state-of-the-art new plate mill would come up as part of the modernisation programme, besides other facilities like a new blast furnace complex which would be among the biggest in the country, raw material handling plant, new sinter plant no.3, 7-metre tall coke oven battery, strand slab caster in SMS-2, G S Prasad, CEO, RSP told PTI.

The new mill will produce plates of 4.3 metres width and shall have advanced computerised control system to produce high strength TMCP (thermo mechanical controlled process) rolled plates including plates for pipe grade upto APILX 100 at lower cost.

It would also have the facility to roll HSLA (high strength low alloy) and micro alloy structurals which would help SAIL strengthen its presence in the plates market in the country.

He said that RSP was also carrying out some modifications and upgradation in its special plate plant which would help it in increasing the supply of tailor-made plates to the defence sector as well as for special purpose applications.

At present SAIL has over 40 per cent market share in the plates market. Besides RSP, Bhilai and Bokaro steel plants of SAIL also produce plates.

Prasad said that the massive Rs 12,000-crore update programme, which would take RSP`s hot metal production capacity to 4.5 million tonne, from the existing 2 m.t., would be over shortly and most of the units would be commissioned in the current fiscal.

The plant would be reaping benefits of modernisation in the next financial year, he said. .

RSP had put up its best-ever physical performance in 2011-12 with a production of 2.31 mt of hot metal, 2.17 mt crude steel and 2.07 mt saleable steel, he said.

The RSP CEO said that the modernisation would also help SAIL to expand its product basket.

He, however, said that post-modernisation challenges were many, pointing out "as we have to stabilise all the units at the earliest. But the biggest challenge will be to integrate the new units with the old ones as RSP is almost a 50-year-old plant. To optimise the benefits of modernisation, we have to synchronise technologies of two different eras".

"Another challenge would be to meet the increased need of raw materials keeping in view the enhanced capacity of the plant," he said.

Prasad said RSP has set new standards in implementation and stabilisation of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system as compared to other organisations.

This was proved by the fact that in the month of April the steel plant has achieved its APP targets in the three major areas which are production of Hot Metal, Crude Steel and Saleable Steel.

After complete stabilisation, the ERP system will enhance the operational efficiency of the Plant significantly. It would reduce inventory, ensure customer order-based planning for production, reduce the requirement working capital and increase the transparency in the system.