PM Modi dedicates upgraded Bhilai plant to nation, SAIL capacity rises to 21mtpa
(Eds: Updates with more quotes)
Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Jun 14 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today dedicated to the nation the modernised and expanded Bhilai steel plant of state-owned SAIL.
With this, the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has completed its around Rs 72,000 crore modernisation and expansion programme, taking its production capacity to 21 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from 13 MTPA earlier.
Addressing a rally here, the prime minister said the Bhilai steel plant will make the foundation of 'New India' stronger than steel.
"Before coming here, I went to Bhilai steel plant. After spending more than Rs 18,000 crore, this plant (Bhilai Steel Plant) has been modernised and expanded with latest technology," Modi said.
"I am fortunate to have been given an opportunity to dedicate this modernised and expanded the plant to the nation," he added.
Bhilai, he said, has not only made steel but has also improved the lives of the people. Since Independence, from Kutch to Cuttack and Kargil to Kanyakumari, it is Bhilai plant that has provided tracks to Indian Railways, he said.
The prime minister was on a day-long visit to Chhattisgarh where he inaugurated various projects worth Rs 22,000 crore. He visited SAIL's Bhilai steel plant located in Durg district.
Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said four years back the steel industry was going through a tough time and facing challenges but today India is the second largest steel producer.
"I want to say that today we are not only fulfilling the needs of the country but also the needs of the world," he added.
When the BJP came to power at the Centre, "India was at the fourth place in steel production. But two years back we left behind America to become the third largest steel producer and four months back we left behind Japan to become the second largest steel producer," he said.
In the last two years, Singh said, India has become a net exporter of steel. "In the last two-and-a-half years we have stopped 40 per cent of the steel which used to come from other countries to India."
Bhilai plant, he said, is producing 130-metre long single piece rail track which is the longest in the world.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha were among others present during the occasion.
Implemented with an investment of more than Rs 18,800 crore, the new Bhilai steel plant would have an enhanced production capacity of 7.5 MTPA hot metal against 4.7 MTPA earlier, which will be the highest among all steel plants of SAIL.
The new blast furnace number 8 - Mahamaya alone has a capacity of 2.8 MTPA. PTI SID MR MR
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