As Indian consumers begin to demand better and more versatile steel for their consumption needs, Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Steel Ltd is streamlining production to meet the market’s new demands. In a recent interaction with Mint, Jayant Acharya, director (commercial and marketing) of JSW Steel, said apart from adding volume, the company is focusing on creating value-added products linked to segments and sectors which are growing, like automobile and consumer appliances.
JSW Steel is among India’s largest integrated steel producers with 18 million tonnes per annum of installed capacity and has announced a capital expenditure plan of ₹44,415 crore to increase this to 24.7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by FY21. Despite lacking captive raw material resource, JSW Steel is one of the most efficient producers of steel globally.
“When we add capacities at the hot strip mill in Dolvi (Maharashtra), we are putting up a line which is all with degassing facilities which can produce steel which is extremely clean for the automotive industry and for various high strength applications,” Acharya said.
Dolvi is the second largest facility of JSW Steel. Currently at 5mtpa production capacity, the plant is undergoing a ramp-up, and in the next three years, this capacity will double to 10.7mtpa. “We are putting in downstream capacities for colour-coated steel at Vasind, Tarapur and Kalmeshwar, for the consumer appliance industry, and a wire rod mill in Vijayanagar to again cater to some of the long product demands which are coming in,” he added.
“By FY21, after capacity expansion and the Monnet Ispat acquisition (of 1.5mtpa), we should be somewhere in the vicinity of 26mtpa,” Acharya explained.
“But apart from adding only volume, we are also adding value-added products in our product portfolio. For instance, when we saw the automotive pipeline growing a few years back, we put in advanced high-strength steel capabilities in Vijayanagar which basically makes outer body panels or various parts for the auto industry, both for cold rolled and galvanized. We got in the technology of producing advanced high-strength steels for the automotive industry.
“Both our automotive and appliance lines are fully loaded today. If you look at general construction side, we put in products like TMT because we thought infrastructure will pick up over a period of the next few years. So, today, for TMT we have 3.5mtpa of capacity. We’re going into roofing and cladding, colour-coated roofing as in rural India, aspirations change from thatched and asbestos roofs to coloured roofs.
“We’ve gone into electrical steel for example, using technology from (Tokyo-based) JFE. Before this, electrical steel was imported for pumps, fans, motors, generators, etc. for all these but now, our electrical steel line is also fully loaded.
“So, apart from growing volumes, what we have done is that we have grown our portfolio of products in the specials in a very structured format,” Acharya said. “We have tried to link it with the growth in economy in India and seeing which are the sectors coming up and we’re putting in our facilities to meet the demand of those sectors. So today, our specialty steel value-added and special steel accounts for roughly 58% - 60% of our total sales while 5 years ago, it was less than 40%.”