Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) will reopen the Kulti Works in West Bengal,
the oldest steel unit in the country, which is closed since 2003.
had earlier decided to sell the unit, with the PSU seeking expressions of interest
from private companies. Many private entities, such as Tata Steel subsidiary Tata
Metaliks and the Pawan Ruia group, had showed interest in the plant. SAIL, however,
changed tack after it committed itself to a massive expansion plan in Bengal.
a meeting with Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, SAIL chairman S
K Roongta said the company has decided in principle to revive the plant.
will see how the idle assets can be utilised. It will not require much of an investment
though," he added.
will invest Rs17,000 crore over the next four years in IISCO Steel Plant; Rs6,500
crore in Durgapur Steel Plant; and Rs500 crore in Alloy Steel Plant.
facility is over 850 acres and has a sprawling colony of 2,300 residential units,
nine-hole golf course and club. The factory itself is spread over 228 acres.
Works, set up in 1870 as Bengal Iron Works Company, became part of Indian Iron
& Steel Company (IISCO) in 1936.
IISCO - now called IISCO Steel Plant - became sick and got referred to the Board
for Industrial and Finance Reconstruction, it closed the Kulti plant.
downed shutters at Kulti on April 1, 2003, after all the employees of the plant
opted out on a voluntary retirement scheme.
unit used to produce cast iron and spun pipes, which have lost market after the
advent of ductile iron pipes. SAIL is likely to revive the foundry at Kulti that
makes cast iron products and spun pipes. Roongta, however, made no commitments
as to when the PSU would reopen the unit.