Tata, Bluescope to Start $176 Million Steel Plant in India

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Tata BlueScope Steel, an equal venture between biggest steelmakers in India and Australia, will start an 8.8 billion rupee ($176 million) coated steel plant in the South Asian nation to tap local demand.

The plant, to be located in the eastern city of Jamshedpur, will have an annual capacity of 250,000 metric tons, Harish Pathak, managing director of the venture, said today in an e-mailed response to questions. The metallic coated products will be used in pre-fabricated buildings.

India’s steel ministry in November estimated the country’s demand may grow at 9 percent per annum in the next five years, benefitting local producers. Tata Steel Ltd., Steel Authority of India Ltd., and JSW Steel Ltd., the nation’s top producers, are raising the output of high-value steel products to improve profit margins and reduce the impact of increasing raw material prices.

Tata Steel is also building a 3.2 million ton blast furnace at Jamshedpur, where it operates its biggest and only factory in the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pradipta Mukherjee in Kolkata at pmukherjee7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net