Coronavirus: RINL shuts 1 blast furnace at Visakhapatnam plant

New Delhi, Mar 29 () State-run steel maker RINL has shut down one blast furnace (BF) out of the three at its Visakhapatnam plant, as a result of which the daily production has come down to 12,000 tonnes, a source said.

The development comes days after the steel ministry directed public sector undertakings (PSUs), including Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), to not reduce production.

RINL, which has an installed capacity of over 7.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), produces about 18,000 tonnes of hot metal on a daily basis.

The company has shut down one out of the three blast furnaces having capacity of 2.5 MTPA each at the plant and reduced its production by 6,000 tonnes to 12,000 tonnes per day, a source said.Advertisement

"The decision has been taken keeping in mind the amount of raw material available with the plant during lockdown. The raw material is enough to manage two BFs, and if the situation continues, then running even two furnaces will be a challenge," the source said.

The operations are also affected as 50 per cent of the manpower has been asked to work from home as per the directives, the source said.

On Monday, Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar held a meeting, via video-conferencing, with steel PSUs like RINL, SAIL, NMDC, among others, and enquired about the preparedness at their plants and units in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
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Kumar had also asked the PSUs to not reduce production.

Keeping vital equipment like coke oven batteries, blast furnaces, among others, in running condition is very essential for steel plants, and the PSUs had apprised the ministry about the issues faced by them due to the nationawide lockdown to prevent spread of coronavirus. ABI RVK
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