Sparks fly as molten steel is poured from a ladle at an arc furnace in the steel melting shop of the JSPL plant in Raigarh, Chhattisgargh, India. (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)

JSPL Set To Win Railway Contract After Close Fight With ArcelorMittal

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. emerged the lowest bidder for a 4.5-lakh-tonne railway order by bidding at Rs 59,000 per tonne—around Rs 2,500 lower than ArcelorMittal, said NA Ansari, the chief executive officer of its steel business.

“We’re trying to improve the steel and railway mill (in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh) beyond its nameplate capacity as we’re hopeful of full order books in the next two years,” Ansari told BloombergQuint. “Also, commissioning and ramping up of Angul plant (in Odisha) will help us improve our steel capacity.”

Ansari said JSPL expects steel prices to increase by around Rs 1,000-1,500 per tonne in the near term due to pressure from rising iron ore prices—a key raw material in steelmaking. Globally, steel prices surged as the cost of iron ore rose after a fatal dam disaster in Brazil. Vale SA—the world’s largest producer of the commodity—closed some of its operations, impacting the production of up to 40 million tonnes of iron ore.

Indian steelmakers, tracking the rates globally, hiked the benchmark hot-rolled coiled prices by Rs 1,000 to Rs 42,900 per tonne in February, according to Edelweiss Research. “The prices were down in January, but there are signs of improvement,” said Ansari. “This trend should continue for another month.”

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