JSPL’s march of excellence ……

By: Ravi Uppal, Managing Director & Group CEO, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd

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Let me, start by thanking all of you—my dear colleagues—for your stellar contributions and spirited performance through 2014-15. In March this year we sold more than 350000 MT of finished steel, the highest monthly sales ever. There could not have been a more befitting toast to your extraordinary efforts through the year.

Be it TMT rebars, plates, SSD, CGP or DRI, through a year of unprecedented challenges we have achieved never-before highs. All the seven gasifiers at our CGP plant were commissioned and the plant achieved full stable operation despite the challenges of fuel supply.

The operations of our Angul DRI plant leaped to nearly full capacity, taking in its resilient stride the poor quality of the input materials. The SMS plant in Angul produced 17 heats with all-time best quality slabs and virtually no rejections. Further, the plate mill achieved first pass yield of greater than 99% and the Raigarh unit added more glory to its glittering record.

The RUBM managed to secure RDSO approval for the manufacture of 260-metre-long rails at the end of a demanding six-month process. The BF-1 touched 2000MT/day production, the sinter plant set new production records and has been operating at full capacity. The cement plant delivered 63000MT of cement—five per cent more than its full capacity during March. Our iconic power plant in Tamnar achieved synchronization of its fourth 600-MW unit in a record time of 22 months from the date activities started at the site. Even more commendable is the fact that it is the only unit in India of its size to be synchronized directly on coal instead of oil. The plant has zoomed effortlessly to a production output of 105% of its rated capacity. Our operations in Tensa and Barbil deserve special mention as they made an extraordinary contribution to supporting JSPL’s efforts to overcome the challenge of material shortages. The list of our achievements is endless and a justifiable cause for all of us Jindalites to feel proud. Our accomplishments are indeed worth celebrating.

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During the last year we have faced numerous challenges with regard to the availability of raw materials, most of them because of an adverse external environment. It was a year when our iron ore supplies were suspended due to the non-renewal of SMPL’s EC. Worse, we have been prevented from using our own stock of iron ore fines which is already paid for! These developments left us with no option but to meet our iron ore requirement from external sources.

Through this period of shortages the JSPL team has acted with exemplary prudence and frugality and minimized the adverse impact of external sourcing. Our pellets scaled new highs of quality and we explored myriad ways to measure up to the quality requirements of the DRI plant in Angul. I was overwhelmed to see how our teams across locations worked together seamlessly to overcome the raw material challenges. As a witness to this phenomenon, I have been frequently reminded of the adage “Nothing can overpower Human Will Power”

It is somewhat ironical that societies with minimal natural resources are the ones that have achieved the most success. Israel, Korea, Japan, and Singapore are societies, which have done remarkably well despite having virtually no natural resource. They have done this by being exceptionally innovative and hardworking! We at JSPL should draw inspiration from such examples and move away from depending unduly on any resource.

The recent initiative to reduce dependence on thermal coal by building more blast furnace capacity with minimum additional investment is one such example, which we need to replicate in every domain of our business. The adoption of Tenova technology to reduce power consumption is yet another inspiring example. Our Honourable Chairman has constantly advocated the practice of questioning existing conventions and methods and replacing them with superior practices offering competitive advantage. Since no competitive advantage is permanent, we must constantly innovate to retain our advantages.

The new financial year 2015-16 promises to be yet another challenging but exciting year. It offers us the possibility of fully leveraging our newly built-up capacity and capability in both the steel and power segments. We need to turn around our new as well as underperforming businesses. We need to work speedily towards the completion of Angul Phase-1B, which is critical to our sustainable success. We need to improve the productivity of both our capital and people. In so doing, we need to benchmark ourselves against the global best

Let me welcome you once again to the New Financial Year and wish you all individually and collectively a great success in all your efforts!

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