Setting aside talks of industrial slowdown the Kuarnmunda-based Adhunik Metaliks Ltd (AML) in Sundargarh district went ahead with the ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday to commission its proposed merchant pellet plant. The plant with two million tonnes capacity would be set up at AML’s existing steel manufacturing complex at an investment of Rs 750 crore.
AML, the largest private sector steel maker of the district with existing production capacity of 0.45 Million Tonnes (MT), is likely to kick-start the plant’s civil construction in December. The proposed plant is likely to reach production stage in 18 months.
AML sources said the Adhunik Group has recently commissioned a 1.2 MT pellet plant at Jamshedpur using Canadian technology to cater to the demand of sponge iron units at Jamshedpur, Giridiha, Patna and Durgapur regions.
Group Director and AML Managing Director Manoj Agarwal last month had said the pellet plant would cater to the needs of sponge iron plants and other steel makers of the State. “We will process low grade iron ore fines, which are abundant in the region and also use some of it from our own mines to produce basic pellets. These ‘ready to serve’ pellets have seen a growing demand in the region,” he said.
At a time when 45 sponge iron industries of the district along with others in Odisha are increasingly faced with inadequate supply of iron ores the proposed plant holds greater promise for them.
The pellets are a direct and superior substitute to ‘size ores’ (5 mm to 18 mm) increasingly being used in sponge iron making. Among others, AML’s project head Netranand Thatoi and senior officials Ashok Kumar and BB Pandey attended the ceremony.