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……… Destined to Scale new heights

(September 2002)

Ispat Industries has fared exceedingly well on the export front with more than 30,000 tonnes of its galvanized steel having been exported to the United States in the fIrst quarter of this financial year.

Apart from this, the company is sitting pretty on export orders of 50,000 tonnes of galvanised products as on July 1, 2002. Ispat spokesman confirmed this development and added, "our export team has also booked 30,000 tonnes of Hot Rolled coils for foreign customers too".

Since the United States imposed safeguard duties under Section 201, effectively barring most of the world from exporting to it, about a 100 countries are not included. Of these only four are steel manufacturing countries, India being the prominent one, apart from Turkey, Indonesia and South Africa.

The US legislation has created a vacuum in the steel market in the US which Indian producers like Ispat, apart from Tisco & Jindal, have been quick to step in. This situation also led to firming up of prices of steel, especially galvanized products. Local companies in the United States hiked their prices by about 40% from US $390 in December 200l. to US $ 600 in June 2002.

Mr. Barin Das, Sr. Vice-President (Marketing) Ispat Industries said that Indian producers have been able to amply satisfy US customers who prefer the "non-fluting variety of galvanized steel".

Ispat Industries Limited’s Kalmeshwar unit comprises the Cold Rolling plant, the Galvanizing lines and the Colour-coating lines. It has two continuous galvanising lines and a capacity of 30,000 tonnes a month, which allows it considerable leverage in its segment-wise distribution. .

Responding to market demands, Ispat ‘ s galvanizing lines which had a maximum width processing capability of 1000 mm; have been "modified with in-house R & D expertise to 1250 mm that too, in record time", Mr. R.N Mahendru, Director of the Kalmeshwar plant said.

Further improvements included modifying the conventional refractory furnace to now be provided cera-wool energy efficient lining.. Both the galvanising lines are equipped with online skinpassing facilities for table-top flatness and better surface finish for specified applications, he added.

To improve the look of the final product, the conventional zince lead bath was replaced by pure zinc bath with an electrically controlled Ajax furnace to produce a bright and spangled surface. It may be mentioned here that the Bokaro steel plant is the only other steel manufacturing unit to use the Ajax furnace zinc bath technology.

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