SAIL to import 12-13 mln ton coking coal this fiscal

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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) Public sector Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) today said it will import 12-13 million tonnes of coking coal during the current fiscal.

''We will import about 12-13 million tonnes of coking coal this year,'' SAIL Chairman S K Roongta told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

The Chairman said he expects to finalise a coking coal contract with BHP Billiton this month, but did not divulge further details.

Asked if a correction in steel prices was possible, the SAIL chairman said it could not be in near future due to surging input costs.

''We wish steel prices reduce further, but going by international prices, there may not be any major correction,'' he said.

Mr Roongta said the biggest increase in input cost has been due to soaring prices of coking coal, a vital raw material used for steel manufacturing. ''The prices have gone up from 98 dollars to 305 dollars,'' he said.

Meanwhile, SAIL had signed an MoU with the Kerala government for revival of the loss-making Steel Complex Ltd (SCL).

Under the MoU, SAIL will acquire 50 per cent shares of SCL, which is a subsidiary of the Kerala State Industrial Corporation Ltd, and the company will be operated as a joint venture between SAIL and the Kerala Government.

It is envisaged that the JV company will revamp the existing steel making and continuous casting facilities existing in the 50,000 tonnes per annum company SCL.

UNI SBA SR HT1912

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