Country’s largest steel mills to start production in March | Pakistan Today

Country’s largest steel mills to start production in March

KARACHI: “We currently are in the cold commissioning phase; our project will then enter the hot commissioning phase. In March 2011, our plant will commence production with an expected output of 1.28 million tonnes per annum solely reliant upon local raw materials,” told TSML Director (Projects) Zaigham Adil Rizvi in an exclusive interview to Pakistan Today.
He revealed that the TSML complex is spread over an area of 220 acres at Bin Qasim and employs the world’s most advanced direct reduction of iron (DRI) technology based upon the advanced processes.
DRI is one of the most sought after raw materials in the manufacture of quality steel. DRI contains around 94 percent of iron with very few impurities. Tuwairqi’s ambitions in the power sector were touched upon. TSML has commenced solar, wind and coal based energy projects and work has begun on facilitating three, perhaps ultimately four, villages not on the national grid.
The aim is to create model villages outfitted with solar panels through donations made by Twairqi in flood affected areas he added.
Highlighting the potential market for alternative power sources, he indicated that TSML had won a contract to furnish a shopping mall solely run on solar power.
Regarding wind power, the corporation intends to produce between 12 and 15 MW, submitting a pre-feasibility report to the Sindh Alternate Energy Department. In addition, a coal based project of TSML is also under active consideration and he expressed the company’s willingness to participate in the effort.
He also indicated that it is planned that the mills will transmit surplus electricity of 36 MW to the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) at a tariff unit rate of 5.5 rupees, even before the production phase. Commenting on the need to boost national steel consumption, currently 38 kilograms per capita, he insisted that it served as a prime indicator of the strength of infrastructure and industrial growth.
Pakistan’s figures are weaker in this regard in comparison to India whose steel industry is booming and caters to many industries, he pointed out.
To a query, he asserted that Pakistan had imported 2.3 million tonnes of iron ore in 2009, a huge quantity. As far as local iron ore is concerned, local raw material is of poor quality but through the proper utilisation of technology, high quality billets can be fabricated by TSML without any compromise on quality, he claimed.
Although stating that a major focus for TSML is employment generation and the development human resource, he acknowledged that being a fully automated plant, TSML, could not provide livelihood to more than 1,200 people as its direct employees, a meagre figure in comparison to Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
But around 3,500 individuals are set to become the indirect employees of the company, a noteworthy number, he added.
Speaking on the contribution of the organisation in the engineering sector, he insisted that the TSMLE, the engineering department, by dint of outsourcing in this sector. Rizvi said that ‘in the past, we have collaborated with British Petroleum and ENGRO amongst others. We have done some joint projects in Germany and Saudi Arabia; this is our outsourcing expertise and we will tap it for the betterment of Pakistan.”
When asked about the likely expansion of PSM, he disclosed that his organisation was indifferent citing the booming demand of steel consumption in the country and requires ever more steel production from both the private and public sector.
He addressed the major weaknesses of the sector, pinpointing the major dependence on imported material. This necessitated the investment of time and effort in steel industry, particularly with regard to poor state of national steel mills which had never been upgraded.
He pointed out that the PSM is the largest smelting unit in the country. There are very few smelting units in Karachi and they are much smaller relative to foreign units. He singled out the need to inculcate the iron and steel industry of Pakistan with awareness of cost-effectiveness such as the sustained usage of DRI technology.
Melting of around 38 tonnes of DRI was arranged under the supervision of TSML technical experts at three different smelting units across the country. On the issue of dealers in the steel industry, he clarified that TSML would not be directly engaged in transactions with dealers. The corporation was only concerned with ex-factory selling. There are currently no plans to develop such relations with dealers that will inevitably lead to controversy, he opined.
He stated that TSML had good environmental credentials and had been granted certification from the local environmental protection agency. Moreover, the usage of gas at the mills will only be 84 percent and only some percentage will be lost, “we are committed to achieve highest environmental standards”.
The MIDREX process uses clean raw material to produce DRI without melting, unlike blast furnace (BF) or BOF based steel plants, which generate massive emissions of heavy metal and toxic chemicals, he informed. The MIDREX process will hopefully avoid any damage to the environment.
A member of Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) he lauded the efforts of the board and said it was a vital part of the government setup and had attracted heavy investment to the country.

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