RINL’s mill expansion plans depend on talks with S. Korean steelmakers

Thursday, 15 August 2019 13:29:27 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

India’s state-run long steel product manufacturer Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RNIL) has decided to diversify into flat steel production as part of its next stage expansion, but a final decision whether to go in for a brownfield expansion of its existing plant will be taken only after the conclusion of its ongoing talks with South Korean steel majors, company sources said on Wednesday, August 14.

The sources said that last year South Korean steel companies - POSCO and Hyundai - have envisioned an interest in partnering RINL to float a joint venture and a few rounds of talks have been held between these companies and RINL.

Both the South Korean companies have been inclined to construct a greenfield steel project entailing an investment of around $4.28 billion on land available adjacent to RINL’s 6.7 million mt steel mill in the southern Indian port town of Vishakhapatnam, the sources said.

The South Korean majors in the preliminary talks were interested in setting up a flat product manufacturing unit in collaboration with RINL, and hence a final decision on the latter’s next stage expansion and product portfolio will entirely depend on the direction the talks with the overseas steel companies take over the next few months, the sources added.

Significantly in a related development, workers’ trade unions at RINL have threatened to launch an agitation to protest against any collaboration between RINL and foreign steel companies as the trade unions apprehend that such a collaboration would be the Indian government’s first step towards the privatization of RINL.

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