Sail starts expansion of iron ore in Orissa; adopts Indian Railway's freight management system

Rourkela: India's largest steel maker Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has initiated its first major expansion scheme to enhance its iron ore loading facilities at its Bolani mines in Orissa. The projected investment for the project is pegged at Rs120 crore.    

SAIL's personnel director Ganatantra Ojha laid the foundation stone of the loading capacity. The company has also embarked on a massive plan of its mines in tandem with  the Rs54,000 crore mega expansion project that will enhance steel production over 24 million tonnes per annum by 2010-11.    

Iron ore loading capacity of Bolani mines would increase to 10 million tonnes per annum from the existing 4.1 million tonnes per annum. To be implemented in two parts, the first part of the project covers the main loading facilities that include installation of a reclaimer, stacker, 15 conveyors and new stack yard.    

The second part of the project would cover railway track modification, overhead electrical work, signalling and telecommunication. Bolani would be India's biggest iron ore mine and loading site, and the project is expected to be completed within 18 months.

Earlier in the week SAIL installed the Freight Operations Information System (FOIS) to improve its logistics management. Developed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), the FOIS will help the steel manufacturer to monitor incoming and outgoing rail freight traffic.

The system became operational last week, and is capable of use by all SAIL plants and units simultaneously. It will provide on-line information about incoming raw material wagon and trains starting from the loading point to the destination points.

The system will also monitor the movement of finished products from the steel plants to stockyards or to customers, their pipeline positions, freight payment details, wagon status and detention.

SAIL's rail traffic is expected to increase to almost 110 million tonnes per annum by 2011, from the existing level of 62 tonnes per day.

Steel Authority of India is also the first company in India to adopt the freight operations information system (FOIS) developed by the Indian Railways. The system is web enabled, and has been customised for SAIL by the Centre for Railway Information Systems.