In what is being described in steel circles as unprecedented, the Nagarnar Steel Plant yesterday, achieved the feat of producing its final product of HR (Hot Rolled) Coil, 9 days after the production of Hot Metal. This feat by NMDC is nothing less than astounding, considering that the mining major doesn’t have prior experience of steel making.
“NMDC joins the coveted league of Indian steel makers. This is the fulfillment of a dream that the local community of Bastar had long looked forward to.”, Sh. Amitava Mukherjee, Chairman-Cum-Managing Director of NMDC, mentioned. Industry veterans remarked that it is a rare feat to commission three critical units in the hot zone – Blast Furnace, Steel Melting Shop and the Mills (Thin Slab Caster – Hot Strip Mill) in such a short period of time.
Nagarnar Steel Plant
The 3 million tonne per annum capacity steel plant has been built at a cost of approximately ₹24,000 crores. The Plant is set to establish its mark in the Hot Rolled market with its repertoire of high grade Hot Rolled (HR) steel that is slated to meet the requirements of several key consuming sectors on the strength of its technology that includes its most modern Mill. Nagarnar Steel Plant’s competitive advantage also stems from its iron ore supply linkage with Bailadila mines, barely 100 kms. from Nagarnar.
The product mix of Nagarnar Steel Plant consists of low carbon steel, HSLA & Dual Phase Steel and API quality steel that can be rolled into a thickness range from 1mm to 16mm. With its capability to roll 1650 mm wide HR, the Thin Slab caster at Nagarnar Steel Plant is the widest Mill in the public sector. HR Coils, Sheets and Plates coming off from India’s latest and most modern mill are expected to meet the growing demand for quality HR required in the manufacturing of LPG cylinders, bridges, steel structures, ships, large diameter pipes, storage tanks, boilers, railway wagons and pressure vessels and in construction of tanks, railway cars, bicycle frames, engineering and military equipment, automobile & truck wheels, frames and body parts. The plant will also be producing a special type of steel to be used in manufacture of generators, motors, transformers and automobiles at a later stage.
Domestic Steel Industry calls it an unprecedented achievement
Nagarnar Steel Plant has the unique distinction of internationally being the only steel plant to be set up by a mining company. With the roll out of the first Hot Rolled coil yesterday, 9 days after hot metal production began on 15th August, Nagarnar steel plant has managed to set another precedent, feel industry veterans.
It may be recalled that Nagarnar Steel Plant had conducted cold trials of its Steel Melting Shop, months before initiating the commissioning of blast furnace. Though there have been instances of faster steel making, Nagarnar Steel Plant’s production of HR Coil within nine days of hot metal production is unusual. This was made possible by testing the capability of the Mills by rolling slabs and producing HR Coil even as preparations were underway for commissioning of the blast furnace.
Generally it takes a couple of weeks for the functioning of the blast furnace itself to stabilize which is followed by the synchronization of blast furnace production with the working of the Steel Melting Shop. This being a very dangerous zone, it is approached with extra caution after which the production process at the Mills is stabilized. That this was successfully accomplished in such a short duration attests to the latest equipment and technology used, as also the expertise of involved professionals.
With the production of HR Coil initiated yesterday, the Plant is engaged in stabilization of the production process to ensure that its produce is commercialized at the earliest. It is felt that the rapid commercialization of the Plants’ produce is expected to greatly minimize, or even offset the losses that a green-field steel plant generally suffers in the first year of its commissioning.