2007: Year of new landmarks, strategic initiatives by SAIL

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New Delhi, Jan 1 (UNI) The public sector Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) ended the last calendar year with landmark achievements in all key operational areas, be it production, sales, productivity, techno-economics or project implementation, with highest-ever capacity utilisation of 116 per cent.

The company's success was widely recognised by various institutions of repute through awards/accolades, notable among which are the SCOPE Gold Trophy for Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to Public Sector Management for 2006-07, India's Employer of Choice Award 2007 by CNBC-TV18 and Watson Wyatt, Businessworld-FICCI-SEDF CSR Award 2006, Prime Minister's Shram Awards to 10 employees, Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar to 41 employees (over 40 per cent of the total awards given).

The company touched new peaks in production with hot metal output of 15 million tonnes (MT), crude steel of 14 MT and saleable steel of nearly 13 MT With finished steel production touching 11 MT, its proportion in saleable steel rose from 81 per cent in 2006 to 83 per cent in the just-concluded year.

Highest-ever continuous casting of 8.7 MT was also achieved during 2007 with a growth of six per cent over the previous year.

Substantially higher volumes of value-added items like high corrosion resistant TMT wire and rounds, SAILMA structurals, electrode quality wire rods, HR coils/plates/sheets for LPG manufacturers and 90 UTS rails were produced.

Major techno-economic parameters like coke rate and energy consumption were further improved during 2007. Best-ever coke rate of 535 kg/tonne of hot metal and specific power consumption of 460 kwh/tonne of saleable steel were achieved.

The captive mines of SAIL achieved record production of 26 MT of iron ore during 2007 and met 100 per cent of the requirement of the SAIL plants. Thrust was given on expansion of the existing iron ore mines and proposals for development of new mines were taken up on priority. Inhouse coal production was also given a thrust, resulting in 59 per cent improvement in output during the year.

In the marketing front, the company notched up the highest-ever sales of nearly 12 MT during 2007, SAIL strengthened its countrywide marketing network by appointing over 700 new dealers.

At present, there are 1,283 dealers covering all districts of the country, helping to improve reach of steel materials to all corners of the country.

During 2007, SAIL gave the go-ahead for a record investment of more than Rs 40,000 crore for expansion and modernisation of its steel plants at Bhilai, Rourkela, Durgapur, Burnpur and Salem.

Several major projects under the company's ongoing expansion and modernisation plan 2010 were commissioned during the year.

These included technological upgradation of blast furnaces, rebuilding of coke oven batteries, modernisation and expansion of finishing mills.

At present, 42 projects involving more than Rs 5,500 crore investment are under implemention.

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