Nagarnar। 25th August, 2023: In what is being described in steel circles as unprecedented, Nagarnar Steel Plant has today achieved the feat of producing its final product – HR Coil – 9 days after production of Hot Metal. Coming as it does from a mining major with no prior experience of steel making, the feat is nothing less than astounding.

An elated Shri Amitava Mukherjee, Acting CMD and Director Finance of NMDC who along with other functional directors of the company arrived for the event, expressed satisfaction in fulfilling NMDC’s commitment to Bastar, “For over 6 decades we had been playing a pivotal role in the domestic steel market as a supplier of quality iron ore. With today’s development we emerge as the newest entrant in the domestic steel market and have put Bastar on the steel map. Today NMDC joins the coveted league of Indian steel makers. This is the fulfilment of a
dream that the local community of Bastar had long looked forward to. It gives me immense pleasure to have fulfilled our commitment to make their dream a reality.”

On 12th August, Shri Mukherjee had blown in Nagarnar Steel Plants’ blast furnace and set the ball rolling for the final commissioning. It may be mentioned that the pace of commissioning had gathered momentum in the recent past under Shri Mukherjee’s leadership and the Board had been constantly visiting Nagarnar to sort out bottlenecks and motivate the team towards their goal and highlighting the significance of adherence to safety norms.

Industry veterans remarked that it is a rare feat to commission three critical units in the hot zone – Blast Furnace, Steel Melting Shop and the Mills (Thin Slab Caster –Hot Strip Mill) – in such a short period of time. Shri Mukherjee commended the solid support of all stakeholders that helped the Project gain pace, “Even as we faced innumerable challenges, over the years we have been fortunate to have been supported at every stage by the Central and State governments, the Steel Ministry, the steel industry, other CPSEs, technological providers, the local community, the media and all stakeholders. We would not have reached our goal without their strong support.”

Showering encomiums on Shri K Praveen Kumar, Executive Director and In-charge of Nagarnar Steel Plant project and his team Shri Mukherjee said, “The smooth commissioning of several critical units in the past few days which culminated in production of HR Coil from iron ore mined in Bastar is a testimony to the commitment and dedicated hard work of the team led by Shri K Praveen Kumar who
galvanized the small band of professionals into a powerful force that delivered timely results.”

The 3 million tonne per annum capacity steel plant has been built at a cost of approximately Rs. 24000 crores. The Plant is set to establish its mark in the Hot Rolled market with its repertoire of high-grade Hot Rolled steel that is slated to meet the requirements of several key consuming sectors on the strength of its technology which includes its most modern Mill. Nagarnar Steel Plant’s competitive advantage
also stems from its iron ore supply linkage with Bailadila mines, barely 100 km. from Nagarnar.

The product mix of Nagarnar Steel Plant consists of low carbon steel, HSLA & Dual Phase Steel and API quality steel that can be rolled in to thickness range from 1mm to 16 mm. With its capability to roll 1650mm wide HR, the Thin Slab caster at Nagarnar Steel Plant is the widest Mill in the public sector. HR Coils, Sheets and Plates coming off India’s latest and most modern mill are expected to meet the growing demand for quality HR required in the manufacture of LPG cylinders, bridges, steel structures, ships, large diameter pipes, storage tanks, boilers, railway wagons and pressure vessels and in construction of tanks, railway cars, bicycle frames, engineering and military equipment and automobile and truck wheels, frames and body parts. The plant will also be producing special type of steels to be used in manufacture of generators, motors, transformers and automobiles at a later stage.

Today’s historic event unfolded in the presence of Shri K Praveen Kumar, Executive Director & Head of Nagarnar Steel Plant, Shri Sanjay Kumar Verma, Director (Comm.) & Addl. Charge Director (Technical) of MECON, Shri Neeraj Kumar, Executive Director MECON, senior officials and trade union representatives.

Domestic Steel Industry Calls It an Unprecedented Achievement Nagarnar Steel Plant has the unique distinction internationally of being the only steel plant to be set up by a mining company. With the roll out of the first Hot Rolled coil today, 9 days after hot metal production began on 15th August, Nagarnar steel plant has managed to set another unmatchable precedence, feel industry veterans.

Technocrats who have been associated with the steel industry for decades aver that this is the result of a well-planned sequencing schedule that has been executed brilliantly to achieve this unprecedented feat.

It may be recalled that Nagarnar Steel Plant had conducted cold trials of its Steel Melting Shop months before initiating blast furnace commissioning. Though there have been instances of faster steel making, Nagarnar Steel Plant’s production of HR Coil within nine days of hot metal production is unusual. This was made possible by testing the capability of the Mills by rolling slabs and producing HR Coil even as
preparations were underway for commissioning of blast furnace. This prior planning paid rich dividends.

Generally it takes a couple of weeks for the functioning of the blast furnace itself to stabilize. This is followed by synchronization of blast furnace production with the working of the Steel Melting Shop. This being a very dangerous zone it is approached with extra caution after which production process at the Mills is stabilized. That this was successfully accomplished in such a short duration attests to the latest equipment and technology used, as also the expertise of involved professionals.

With production of HR Coil initiated today, the Plant is engaged in stabilization of the production process to ensure that its produce is commercialized at the earliest. It is felt that the rapid commercialization of the Plants’ produce is expected to greatly minimize, or even offset the losses that a green-field steel plant generally suffers in the first year of its commissioning.