JSPL’s ‘swadeshi’ venture awaits coal
Two Union Ministers of Narendra Modi’s government visited the Jindal Steel and Power Ltd plant at Angul in Odisha on Sunday and lauded Chairman Naveen Jindal’s courage in pursuing an uncharted “swadeshi” path to steel-making.
Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh, pointed out the country was importing 80% of the coking coal used in domestic steel. “We remain dependent on imports but Naveen has come out with a plan which can make us reduce this dependence,” said Singh.
Also present on the occasion was Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for petroleum and natural gas, who described JSPL’s adoption of coal-gasification route as a “path-breaking” initiative. Except, JSPL has had to shut the coal-gasification plant having lost the coal block which it had been allocated In 2003 and built a 4554 cubic metre blast furnace – India’s largest – through which it produced 1.3 million of steel in 2017-18.
The generous praise from ministers Modi government raises hope that the end to the syngas plant’s raw material problems could be in sight.