Maintaining thrust on production to meet the growing demand for steel in the domestic market, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) achieved best-ever February performance by producing 1.1 million tons of saleable steel, a growth of 7% over February `07, with capacity utilization of the SAIL plants going up to 122%. The company also recorded best-ever February production of hot metal at 1.24 million tons and 1.14 million tons of crude steel, both showing 6% growth over the corresponding period last year (CPLY).
Consequently, during the period April `07-February `08 of the current financial year, SAIL produced 11.8 million tonnes of saleable steel, an increase of over 4 lakh tonnes over CPLY, with an average capacity utilisation of 117%.
Key techno-economic parameters also improved in February`08. Coke rate at 524 kg per tonne of hot metal was 3% lower and energy consumption at 7.05 giga calories per ton of crude steel reduced by 1% over CPLY. Production through the energy-efficient continuous casting route crossed 7.5 million tonnes, 9% higher than February`07. With thrust maintained on production of value-added and special steels, the SAIL plants produced nearly 3.6 million tonnes of such items in February`08, an increase of 49% over CPLY.
The captive mines of SAIL produced 2.2 million tons of iron ore in February`08 and met 100% requirement of the plants. Coal production from captive collieries was increased during the year (April `07-February`08) by 50% over CPLY.
During February `08, SAIL`s Central Marketing Organisation achieved sales of 1.03 million tonnes, 3.7% higher than CPLY.
With SAIL entering its 50th year of production, February 08 was a memorable month for the company. The month`s other highlights included payment of Rs 6,734.9 million to the Government by SAIL as interim dividend for the financial year 2007-08, inauguration of Bhilai Steel Plant`s Rs 112.62 billion expansion and modernisation programme by Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilisers and Steel Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, presentation of the FICCI Annual Award 2006-07 to SAIL for outstanding achievement in the category of Rural & Community Development Initiatives, and signing of a shareholder`s agreement with Jaypee Associates to form a joint venture company for setting up a 2.1-million ton capacity cement plant at Bokaro.
Shares of the company declined Rs 24.65, or 9.65%, to settle at Rs 230.8. The total volume of shares traded was 2,095,716 at the BSE.(Monday)