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RINL heaves a sigh of relief as coking coal crisis ends

Vizag steel plant faced a crisis due to a strike by Adani Gangavaram Port workers halting coking coal supply. The strike disrupted RINL’s production as coking coal is essential for steel making

RINL heaves a sigh of relief as coking coal crisis ends

Visakhapatnam: The management of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), which had a tough time following complete disruption in coking coal supply from Adani Gangavaram Port Ltd (AGPL) heaved a sigh of relief with the hammering out of solution after over a month-long strike by the workers' of the private port over revision of wages.

Coking coal supply required for operating the coke oven batteries and blast furnaces was seriously hit when the workers of the port went on an indefinite protest on April 12. The crisis forced RINL, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant to divert ships stranded at Gangavaram Port to Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA) and get some quantity from SAIL to operate all the five coke oven batteries with bare minimum production to prevent leakage of gases/chemicals.

Two among three blast furnaces were shut down for want of adequate supply of coking coal. The disruption in supply during the stalemate significantly affected RINL's ability to procure essential raw materials, coking coal and limestone, which are crucial for our production processes.

In light of these challenges, Atul Bhatt, CMD, RINL on Friday extended heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders who played a crucial role in resolving the crisis of transportation of essential raw material from AGPL to the steel plant and described that their collective efforts have been instrumental in ensuring the continuity of operations and sustaining economic growth in the region.

The CMD said now their focus will be to ramp up the production in a phased manner based on the availability of raw material and put in the best efforts to minimise the loss suffered during the past one month due to this raw material crisis.

In his message, Bhatt thanked the district administration, people living in and around Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, all other stakeholders which includes RINL’s employees, all trade union members, Steel Executives’ Association (SEA), people's representatives, contract workers and displaced persons for their timely intervention.

“The unstinted support from all stakeholders including customers and vendors is paramount to ensuring the uninterrupted and safe operations of RINL. It will help in safeguarding our valuable assets, jobs and sustaining economic growth in our region,” Bhatt said. The CMD profusely thanked the Union Steel Minister, officials of the Steel Ministry and the management of SAIL for their constant support and guidance to tide over the crisis.

“RINL is also grateful to the Railways and Visakhapatnam Port Authority for their prompt logistic support and also to AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd (APEPDCL) for ensuring constant supply of power to the steel plant," Bhatt said, adding "We understand the challenges we face are significant, but we firmly believe that together, we can overcome them and steer RINL back onto the path of growth. Once again, the RINL collective has demonstrated to the world that with dedication and commitment, any hurdle can be surmounted," he stated while thanking the media for its support.

Santosh Patnaik
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