Pankaj Malhan (centre) addressing the media in Kolkata.
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Kolkata: Electrosteel Steels Limited (ESL), whom the mining major Vedanta Limited acquired last year, has plans to double the production capacity of its steel plant at Bokaro in Jharkhand but without hiring additional workforce.

The plant currently has a capacity to produce 1.5 million tons per annum (MTPA) and the plan is to increase it to 3 MTPA by the end of 2021. To build additional infrastructure for this, ESL will pump in anything between Rs 4,000-5,000-crore.

But the company will not hire additional hands to achieve the production growth and instead, will focus on increasing the productivity of the existing workforce, ESL’s deputy CEO, Pankaj Malhan, told reporters in Kolkata today 26 June.

He was in the city, launching ESL’s rebranded steel portfolio – TMT bars, wire rods, ductile iron pipes, billets, and pig irons.

“We currently have 2,200 people on our payroll and another about 6,500 people on contract. If we take global steel major POSCO as an example, an employee contributes around 1,400 MT per annum. Hence, the focus will be on augmenting the productivity of our workforce”, Malhan said.

He stated that the productivity of an employee in Tata Steel, which is the leader in India, is about 750 MT per annum. “Our is about 520-600 MT and hence, there is much scope for improvement.”

Malhan said that the Phase-I of the expansion plan, which they have chalked out for the Bokaro plant, will focus on long product segment. This apart, Vedanta will look for acquiring more entities in India that meet its minimum production capacity standard.

“We have sent a proposal for renaming ESL in line with the parent organisation and a decision on this is likely in another 3-6 months.”

“Over the next two years, ESL will grow into an absolutely different company and we want to occupy the number 3 or 4 slot so far as steel production in India is concerned”, he said.

In the 2018-19 fiscal year, ESL’s output stood at 1.2 MT, which is a growth of 17 per cent year-on-year.