Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Industry & Economy
States - Andhra Pradesh
Manmohan to visit Vizag Steel Plant today
Visakhapatnam , May 19
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, will visit the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant on Saturday to lay the foundation stone for the project taken up at a cost of Rs 8,692 crore to hike capacity from the present level of 3.6 million tonnes to 6.3 mt.
According to the plant authorities, the Prime Minister will participate in the programme at 11 a.m. in the presence of the Governor, Mr Rameshwar Thakur, and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Dr Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy, and the Union Minister of Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan.
Best plant award
Dr Manmohan Singh will also present the Prime Minister's trophy to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant for emerging as the best integrated plant during 2002-2003. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 crore.
The plant currently operatesat 120 per cent of its rated capacity. During 2005-06, it managed to wipe out all accumulated losses and debts. The expansion plan was cleared in less than 10 months and M.N. Dastur Company was appointed the principal consultant.
To compete better
The expansion will enable the plant to compete better in the market and strengthen its position in the long segment. According to Mr Y. Sivasagara Rao, Chairman and Managing Director, VSP does not envisage any problem in financing the expansion project, as it is in a position to meet part of the cost on its own out of its internal accruals and raise the rest from the market.
The plant, however, suffers from a distinct disadvantage as it does not have captive iron ore and coal mines. It is making efforts to acquire such mines in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. But not much headway has been made so far. It is estimated that the plant can save as much as Rs 1,000 crore, if it has such captive mines.
Mr T. Subbarami Reddy, Union Minister of State for Mines, has promised that he will make all attempts to secure such mines for the plant. He is also attending the programme on Saturday.
The Prime Minister is also scheduled to participate in a public meeting in the municipal grounds and distribute loans to the women self-help groups.
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