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LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS:
I am extremely happy to share with you that SAIL's relentless drive to fast-track its modernization & expansion plan (MEP), resulted in commissioning of projects worth Rs.5500 crore in 2012-13, which is the highest for a year since inception. Under the MEP, cumulative orders worth Rs.58,151 crore have been placed till March, 2013 and an expenditure of Rs. 44,112 crore has been incurred. The company's capital expenditure during 2012-13 was Rs.9731 crore. The significant projects commissioned in the last fiscal include New Sinter Plant at Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP); 700 TPD Air Separation Unit-4; Oxygen Plant-II at Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP); Skin Pass Mill at Bokaro Steel Plant; Raw Material Handling Plant, Sinter Plant, Coke oven Battery No. ii and Wire Rod Mill at IISCO Steel Plant at Burnpur. Maintaining the rhythm, in the 1st quarter of 2013-14, projects worth Rs. 2600 crore have already been commissioned which include the new Coke Oven battery and new slab caster at RSP.
Further, it gives me immense pleasure to inform my esteemed shareholders that the new 4060 m3 Blast Furnace at RSP, which is the largest in the country has become operational in August, 2013. Bringing about a quantum jump of 2.5 million tonnes in our hot metal capacity, this marks a new chapter in the modernization and expansion of our company and entire SAIL is jubilant about the same. Many more significant projects are in advanced stage of readiness and expected to go on stream in the coming months, on account of which we are likely to operationalise projects worth more than Rs. 15,000 crore during the current financial year.
Going beyond, your Company is working on a long term strategic plan 'Vision 2025', which will steer the Company towards a target of 50 million tonnes of hot metal production, thereby meeting the strategic objectives of achieving leadership in Indian steel sector and a position amongst the top steel companies globally. Your company already has the land and the other necessary infrastructure for expanding its capacity to this level.
On the operational front, notwithstanding the challenging market conditions in 2012-13 arising from demand stagnation, SAIL produced 13.4 million tonnes of crude steel by operating at 103% of its capacity. In line with its long term objective of increasing the proportion of value added steel in the overall product basket of SAIL, the production of special steels was scaled up to 5 million tonnes, up by 4% over previous fiscal.
SAIL plants have taken various initiatives to enhance production processes, by improving operational discipline and minimizing equipment downtime. This has led to a significant improvement in operating parameters, leading to best ever techno-economic efficiency in 2012-13.
SAIL intensified its efforts to enhance its reach further throughout the country. "SAIL Rural Dealership Scheme" was launched in the year 20ii-i2 with the primary objective of meeting the steel demands of the small rural consumers at block, tehsil and taluka levels. Under this scheme 562 rural dealers were appointed during 2012-13. Process for further appointments is under progress. As on 1st April, 2013, SAIL has a wide network of 2896 dealers spread over 629 districts of the country.
The implementation of the Company's R&D Master Plan, launched in 20ii-i2, is proceeding as per schedule. Centres of Excellence (CoE) have been created at all plants and RDCIS and work on the identified projects is underway. Similarly, High Impact Projects and Technology Missions taken up at corporate level are also being pursued which would give us benefits through beneficiation and pelletisation of iron ore, alternative iron-making technologies, near net-shape casting and other such projects of strategic importance.Your Company has strived to enhance its product basket by developing several new products during the year. Bhilai Steel Plant developed special soft iron magnetic plates for the prestigious India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) Project of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). Our Plants at Bokaro and Salem started production of IS 2062 E450 and E 350 HR Coils, tailor-made for wagons used by the Indian Railways. For the petrochemicals industry, Bhilai and Rourkela developed a new grade of ASTM 537 plates, which find application in pressure vessels.
It is a matter of great pride to inform you that the country has launched the first indigenously made Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant made entirely from SAIL Steel plates. About 26,000 tonnes of high-grade DMR 249 A, 249 A-Z and 249 B steel has been supplied by SAIL for this prestigious project.
On the Raw Material front, total requirement of iron ore was met from captive sources. In case of coking coal, around 24% requirement was met from indigenous sources and balance through imports. For ensuring regular supplies of iron ore, capacities of existing iron ore mines are being expanded and new iron ore mines are being developed. In addition, new iron ore deposits in the States of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, MP, Maharashtra, Odisha and Karnataka are being explored. In this respect, an MOU was signed with Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) in November 2012 for development of Eklama Iron Ore Deposit in Kabirdham district of Chhattisgarh, in a joint venture. Eklama Iron Ore Deposit would be a supplementary iron ore source for Bhilai Steel Plant, which is located at a distance of around 135 km from Bhilai (reserves around i00 Million Tonnes of iron ore).
For improving coking coal security, your Company is also making efforts for development of new coking coal blocks at Tasra and Sitanala. For development of Tasra Coal Block, a Mine developer-cum-operator (MDO) has been appointed in July 2013, who would be developing 4 million tonnes per annum (ROM) coal capacity mine through open cast mining along with a washery of matching capacity. Large-scale production at this colliery is likely to start by mid-20i5 after completion of pre-development activities such as land acquisition, R&R and associated infrastructure.
Your Company continued to give impetus towards taking new business initiatives in the last fiscal. Significant among these include formation of a JV with Burn Standard Company Limited (BSCL) for setting up a Wagon Component Manufacturing facility at Jellingham, MoU with KSIDC & KML of Government of Kerala for establishing a Titanium Sponge project and MoU with Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL) for setting up of a Transmission Line Tower manufacturing facility.
SAIL achieved the highest ever Labour Productivity (LP) of 258 TCS/Man/Year in the financial year 2012-13. The manpower strength of SAIL was 1,01,878 employees (as on 31.03.2013) with manpower rationalization of 4,126 achieved during the year. The enhanced productivity with rationalized manpower could be achieved as a result of judicious recruitments, redeployment strategies, building competencies and infusing a sense of commitment and passion among employees.
Your Company continued to get laurels and appreciation from different quarters, which inter-alia include, "Excellent" Rating for the year 2011-12 for the i0th consecutive year under the Government's Performance evaluation scheme; Bhilai Steel Plant being awarded the Prime Minister's Award for best performing integrated steel plant for the 11th time; SCOPE Award for Best Practices in Human Resource Management for 2011-12; total 13 out of 28 Viswakarma Awards declared in the country and ii out of 32 Prime Minister's Shram Awards declared in the country.
Your Company's focus on social responsibility remains unwavering. Some of the notable initiatives that your company took in 2012-13 include, operating 7 Health centres at plants exclusively for providing free medical care to poor and needy families; organizing more than 3500 health camps in various villages across the country; supplying around 25,000 meals on daily basis to school children in Bhilai region; running seven special schools for underprivileged children at integrated steel plant locations which provide free education, mid-day meals, transport, text books and other required items.
SAIL is growing and poised for a big leap. At the same time, we are optimistic and remain committed to India's growth story. Notwithstanding the short-term dampeners, we believe that India continues to be one of the key growth engines of the global economy in the coming years on the basis of its strong fundamentals. With greater emphasis on increasing growth rate of manufacturing sector, higher rates of urbanization, rising middle class population, we are confident of a buoyant Indian steel industry in the years to come. We look forward to moving ahead on this journey along with the support of all our shareholders.
(C. S. Verma)
Place: New Delhi
Dated: 16th August, 2013