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JSW not keen on Essar Steel, to focus on Jharkhand and Odisha

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Source: The Economic Times
Saturday, January 27, 2018

 MUMBAI: Sajjan Jindal's JSW Ltd will focus its resources for stressed assets in the iron-ore-rich eastern states of Odisha and Jharkhand, thus ceding ground in the race for Essar Steel, located near India's western water margin, to likely bids from the Tata group, ArcelorMittal and the Ruia brothers. 


Saying that it was never keen to bid for Essar Steel, JSW said the group did not even do the due diligence or preliminary site visits to Hazira in Gujarat, where Essar Steel is located. 

"We are not considering Essar Steel in our calculations. We have a strong presence in South India and the western state of Maharashtra, which would adequately cover the southern and western regions in the country. We need to build our presence in the North and East," Seshagiri Rao, joint managing director, JSW said. 

The company had announced an expansion plan last year, spending Rs 26,800 crore until 2020 on brownfield and greenfield projects. The plan includes brownfield expansion at the Dolvi facility in Maharashtra, where the company will be doubling capacity from 5 MT to 10 MT by March 2020, with an investment of Rs 15,000 crore. 
 
At its Vijaynagar facility in Karnataka, the steelmaker will be spending Rs 4,200 crore on revamping and upgrading a blast furnace from 3 MT to 4.5 MT and increasing capacity of its cold-rolled mill-1 complex. JSW Steel is also planning to enter the east and is doing the groundwork for greenfield expansion at Odisha and Jharkhand for 10 MT each. The capacity of Vijaynagar works is currently at 12 MTPA and the company aims at lowering operating costs. 


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