JSW Steel is aiming to nearly double its capacity to 50 million tonnes in the next three years, chairman Sajjan Jindal said on Thursday.
The city-headquartered company is also aiming to shift to renewable sources of power to fire the entire 50 million tonnes of production, Jindal said speaking at an event organized by the Bombay Chartered Accountants Society late on Thursday evening.
Today, at JSW Steel we are at 28 million tonnes capacity and next year we will be 37 million tonnes capacity and (in) three years' time we will be 50 million tonnes capacity, he said.
He said the company is also paying a lot of emphasis on sustainability and has devised a plan to completely shift its power usage to renewable sources.
"At JSW Steel, we would probably be the first steel company in the world which will be 50 million tonnes capacity and operate 100 per cent on renewable power, that is the plan we are doing, Jindal said.
Jindal said as the company goes ahead with its planned capacity additions, it is already adding renewable power capacities in a departure from the conventional system of depending on fossil fuels like coal.
The Indian steel manufacturing landscape has come a long way and has the potential to be the supply centre for catering to world demand, Jindal said.
He recalled that in 1994, JSW Steel had approached lenders like ICICI with a proposal to erect a 1.2 million tonne capacity plant while Tata Steel had a capacity of 2 MT. In about three decades, India is home to steel companies having 40-50 MT capacities, he added.
Comparing the Indian steel landscape with China, which is at present the largest supplier of steel to the world, Jindal said at present, Chinese companies have an operating profit margin of 2-3 per cent, while the same ranges between 15-25 per cent for Indian companies.
India has iron ore reserves, while China is home to coking coal, Jindal said, adding that India's position is more advantageous from a raw material perspective because the industry needs over 2 tonnes of ore to produce a tonne of steel while the reliance on coking coal is far less at 500 kg per tonne.
India, however, is a laggard when it comes to spending on research and development, he rued.
The local steel industry can cater to the world's steel demand, Jindal said, adding that JSW Steel is adding capacities with an eye on the world market.
India will fill the gap of being the supplier to the world looking for options beyond China, Jindal said, asserting that countries like Vietnam or Malaysia cannot take that position.
As the company goes through with its expansion efforts, Jindal hinted at challenges in finding the right talent to build plants, saying it has to pay wages of over Rs 1,200 double that of the prescribed floor of Rs 600 in Maharashtra to ensure that the work goes on.
Recounting the most challenging business moment, Jindal said convincing banks for letting the company invest more at a time when it was in a restructuring programme in 1999-2000 was a tough call but added that once it was able to do that, there was no looking back.
Stressing the importance of corporate governance, Jindal said adhering to this tenet is the only way forward even though it can slow down growth. He said the JSW Group has been a big follower of this principle and has been slow to start with and will now be growing fast as it has gained momentum.
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