(Inserts dropped word "ore" into headline)
MUMBAI Aug 6 India's Jindal Steel and Power Ltd
hopes to resolve raw material shortages that have hurt
production at its steel plants in the "next couple of weeks",
Chief Executive Ravi Uppal said on Wednesday.
The steel major is facing iron ore shortages after a Supreme
Court order in May forced the closure of nearly half the mines
in top producing state Odisha, where the company mines and
sources iron ore.
Its main suppliers of iron ore have received approval from
an expert committee, and the issue should be resolved after a
letter is issued by the federal ministry of environment, Uppal
"We are following up with our suppliers and are hopeful that
the government will understand the urgency of the matter and
issue the necessary clearance," Uppal said.
As for coal, depressed international prices could lead the
company to increase imports of the raw material as an
alternative to obtaining it locally.
"We are coming to a pass when we find that imported coal is
almost at par with the e-auction, and sometimes the quality of
imported coal is better," Uppal said.
In India, a portion of locally produced coal is auctioned
online to allow for more transparent and efficient marketing.
The company, which mines about 20 million tonnes of coal and
iron ore in India, Australia and Africa, is also looking to
trade minerals in the market once the production meets its
"We haven't yet come to that level, but I'm sure that by
next year, we shall be in a position to start trading," Uppal
Uppal said the company's long-term target was to almost
double steel production to 15 million tonne per year by 2020 and
take it power capacity to 12,000 megawatts (MW) from the 5,000
MW it should reach by the end of this year.
(Reporting by Aman Shah in Mumbai; editing by Jane Baird)