Bhilai, Jul 31: The public sector Bhilai Steel Plant has raised its production target to maintain its profitability notwithstanding the steep hike in the cost of raw materials, particularly imported coal from Australia.
''The plant is poised to earn more profit this year keeping in view the record production in high tensile plate, electrode quality wire, TMT wire rods and bars during the first quarter of fiscal 2008-09'', BSP Executive Director Ashok Kumar said. Even during recession, Bhilai plant of the Steel Authority of India Limited(SAIL), maintained high profits, he told UNI, adding the plant had achieved a profit of Rs 5366 crore during 2007-08, Rs 4271 crore in 2006-07 and Rs 2781 crore in 2005-06.
Along with increase in the cost of raw materials, Mr Kumar said, there was steep hike in the price of imported coal from Australia from 90 dollars to 300 dollar per tonne in the past few months.
SAIL, however, had not raised the prices of its products, he added.
As part of its strategy to earn more profits by increasing production with less production cost, the plant revised production target to 7 lakh tonne from the 5.45 lakh tonne capacity wire rod mill. The target for six lakh tonne capacity merchant mill was also raised to 7.8 lakh tonnes, Mr Kumar said.
The plant, which is already producing fire-proof plates, is poised to start production of earthquake-resistant rods. Its rail mill set up in 1960 is producing rails of 260 metre, 130 metre, 26 metre and 13 metre.