Jai Balaji’s integrated steel plant at Durgapur inaugurated


Durgapur (West Bengal) : The 450,000 tonne alloy and stainless steel division of Jai Balaji Industries’ integrated steel plant at Banskopa here was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Saturday.

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The Rs.2.25 billion division includes an oxygen and argon plant, bloom and blister caster, and is likely to provide employment to more than 1,000 people, Jai Balaji’s chairman and managing dierector Aditya Jajodia told reporters.

The products would be purchased by railways, defence forces, forging and engineering industry, besides those making capital equipment and automotive components.

Jajodia said his company, now one of the top 10 steel producers in the country with a total production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes, has already invested Rs.18 billion for the integrated steel plant here, and another Rs.2 billion will be pumped in within the next 18-24 months.

Jai Balaji Industries Ltd., the flagship company of Jai Balaji Group, has nine steel manufacturing units, six of which are in West Bengal at Durgapur (2), Mangalpur (2), Liluah and Purulia (under construction).

The plant here now employs 6,000-7,000 people, with the total workforce increasing to 10,000 once the entire project is complete. The company is also planning to set up a coke over plant and a ductile pipe unit in two years at the site.

“Work on the Rs.160 billion Purulia project – comprising a five million tonne per annum capacity integrated steel plant, three million tonne per annum cement plant and 1,215 MW power plant – will begin soon.

“This project will generate direct and indirect employment for another 50,000 people,” Jajodia said.

Out of the total land requirement of 3,200 acres for the entire project, the company has recently been handed over 748.97 acres for the first phase of the Purulia Project. “We need 1,200 acres for this phase, and hope to get it soon.”

“Once the Purulia project is completed in three years, we will have a total production capacity of 6.5 million tonnes,” he said.

Asked whether recessionary pressure could delay some of his plans with there being a slump in the demand for steel, Jajodia said, “Demand of steel in the Indian market had not been averse. Recession definitely could defer some plans by three months, four months and six months, but for large plants like those we have, that is not a major problem.”

He denied any liquidity crisis for this projects, saying a consortium of 21 banks was there to provide the funds.

The company has also extended its foothold in the other mineral rich states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.