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Essar to ramp up Hazira plant output by Dec.

Keywords: Tags  Essar Steel, production rampup, steel output, hot-rolled coil, flat-rolled sheet, iron ore, pellets, Suresh Nair

MUMBAI, India — Production at Essar Steel Ltd.’s integrated steel plant at Hazira in western India’s Gujarat state will pick up by December, the company said.

"We will achieve only about 250,000 tonnes of hot-rolled coil production in November, but we will be able to gear up our mills for 400,000 tonnes per month by early December," a senior Essar Steel executive told AMM sister publication Steel First.

The forecast falls short of the company’s previous estimates.

In October, Essar Steel said it would be in a position to produce about 400,000 tonnes of hot-rolled coil in November and close to 500,000 tonnes by December.

"Production in November was constrained due to reduced availability of iron ore pellets from the (country’s) east coast, essentially due to bad weather. Production will be ramped up to the optimum level in the coming months," an Essar Steel spokesman said.

Production at the company’s 8-million-tonne-per-year pellet plant on the eastern coast of India, in Andhra Pradesh state, was affected by a cyclone and seven days of heavy rain, another senior company executive said.

Essar Steel has a second 6-million-tonne-per-year pellet plant in Paradip, in Odisha state.

A supply shortage of natural gas to its Hazira plant was another constraint to increasing production.

Essar Steel uses gas for the production of direct-reduced iron (DRI) at Hazira.

The company will use more gas from its Corex furnaces and cut its reliance on natural gas being supplied by state-owned firm Gail (India) Ltd., the second executive said.

The company’s plant at Hazira has a production capacity of at least 800,000 tonnes per month of hot-rolled coil. It is the single-largest flat steel production facility in India.

Essar Steel will likely divert its increased production to the export market next month, as the company hadn’t been able to honor many of its earlier export commitments due to the production shortfall, an industry source said.

The company hasn’t yet begun offering hot-rolled coil in the export market and will likely do so in the next couple of weeks, the source added.

A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.

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