Thirteen cement companies, including two foreign firms, have evinced interest in entering into a joint venture with Steel Authority of India (SAIL) for a slag cement plant at Rourkela.
Without divulging names, sources said, the foreign companies had not indicated that they were currently present in India.
The partner for the project was likely to be selected by February 2008. The companies’ interest was in response to Steel Authority of India ’s memorandum seeking expression of interest.
A consultant would now be appointed for the process, said the sources.
Based on evaluation of the EoIs, Steel Authority of India will shortlist the parties to participate in the subsequent bidding process.
Interested parties shortlisted by Steel Authority of India will be provided with the detailed request for proposal (RFP) after signing confidentiality agreement, which would make them eligible for due diligence.
The move to set up a slag cement plant is the third such initiative by Steel Authority of India . The idea is to set up the plant using part of the slag generated at Rourkela. Slag is a natural byproduct of iron making by the blast furnace route and can be economically utilised in manufacturing blended cement.
The sources said the capacity of the plants could increase as Steel Authority of India had embarked on a massive expansion programme.
The strategic partner once selected would have management control and a 74 per cent equity. The capacity of the proposed plant would be around 2 million tonnes and would be a split location project with the clinker plant at Purnapani. The slag generated at Rourkela is around 1 million tonne.
To ensure regular disposal of slag at Bhilai, a joint venture company — Bhilai Jaypee Cement— was set up in April 2007.
The joint venture is setting up a cement plant of 2.2 million tonnes with split location at Bhilai and Satna using 1 million tonne of Bhilai slag and limestone from Satna At Bokaro, Steel Authority of India is at an advanced stage of creating another joint venture company.