Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Buoyed by the timely completion of many key projects in the just concluded fiscal, the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) has said it has set a target of producing 4.1 MT of hot metal during 2020-21.

The RSP, a unit public sector steel behemoth SAIL, also seeks to produce 3.9 MT of crude steel and 3.55 MT of saleable steel.

"For the financial year 2020-21, we have taken up the production targets of 4.1 MT hot metal, 3.9 MT of crude steel and 3.55 MT of saleable steel, RSPs CEO DipakChattaraj said on Wednesday.

Also Read: Rourkela Steel Plant Registers Record Production In Feb

The goals are tough, but so are we. We have to make every possible effort to protect our pride and dignity. Let's strive to have an Unnattara and Utkrushttara Plant, he said in a message on the commencement of the new fiscal and UtkalDibas, Odishas formation day.

Referring to the coronavirus outbreak, he said this year is going to be very different from the ones before.

It seems that the severe impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the economy is going to cause a paradigm shift in the behaviour of the market, the CEO said.

Stating that a high-level task force is monitoring the COVID-19 situation, he said that intensive sanitization and cleaning operations are continuing both inside the plant and in the township, while a massive awareness campaign has been launched using every medium possible.

"We are rationalising production depending on the situation and deploying minimum manpower accordingly, the RSP CEO said.

To strike an effective balance between the need for social distancing and requirements of the Plant, at any particular point of time, we are allowing 40 to 60 per cent employees of various units to work from home, he said.

Describing 2019-20 as the year of consolidation and resolution, Chattaraj said that external factors like the global slowdown in the steel market and fluctuating prices combined with internal issues like escalating cost of production, huge inventory and high debt burden kept our bottom line stressed.

With a special focus on sustainability and long term growth, RSP managed to resolve some long pending issues whose immediate liquidation was critical for the survival of the organization, he said.

These could no longer be delayed. While we were aware that these issues required long shutdowns which would result in production loss, we took it as a challenge and went on to complete them within the schedule for sustainable production and environment management, he said.

Some of these projects that will have long term impact on the sustainability of the Plant are installation of Doghouses in two old convertors of SMS-2, erection of waste gas cleaning systems in Kiln-2,3 & 4 of calcining plant-2 and relining of blast furnace-4 which was planned in 2017.

Now the furnace is getting ready for operation, the CEO said.

Also Read: Rourkela Steel Plant To Be Expanded: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Despite many odds RSP set many new benchmarks in the last fiscal as its blast furnace-5 crossed 15 MT production mark in February and the last 1 MT was made in only 132 days, Chattaraj said.

All-time best hot metal production was clocked with 2 furnace operation, he said.

Our three main mills, namely plate mill, new plate mill and hot strip mill have all registered their all-time best annual performance with combined production of 3.1 MT, Chattaraj added.