A team of railway officials has visited Raigarh to aseess steel plant of JSPL, which is interested in national transporter’s tender to procure seven lakh tonnes of rails worth about Rs 3,500 crore, industry sources said today.
The Ministry of Railways has recently floated a global tender to procure rails. This is the first time that railways has come up with such a tender.
At present, state-run Steel Authority of IndiaBSE 1.48 % (SAIL) is the only company supplying rails to the country’s largest transport network railways.
SAIL manufactures 260-metre long rails at its Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in Chhattisgarh. Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) is the only private company in the country which produces rails.
A team of Railways comprising officers from Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) are camping in Raigarh and performing an assessment of the JSPL’s plant, a source privy to the matter told PTI.
While an email sent to the JSPL remained unanswered, an official requesting anonymity confirmed that a railways team is visiting for an assessment of the “domestic producer and supplier of rails”.
The plant has a capacity to produce 1 million tonne (mt) of rails, about 30 per cent more than the railways’ requirement.
JSPL is confident of making early deliveries to the Indian Railways if it succeeds in securing the tender, a top company official had earlier said.
“It is a golden chance for JSPL (Jindal Steel and Power Limited) as the company has been looking to make inroads into the domestic rail segment for about a decade,” Naushad Ansari, CEO Steel Business, JSPL, had told PTI over phone.
Ansari had said that the company is fully prepared and well equipped. It is capable of making early deliveries compared to any other player. “If we bag the tender today, we can start making deliveries in just three weeks. It would take much longer for a foreign firm to start making deliveries. JSPL has a capacity to supply over 50,000 mt rail per month.”
“The delivery (is) to commence as early as possible and to be completed in 12 months from the date of placement of order (in case of domestic bidder) or opening of letter of credit (in case of foreign bidders),” the railway tender stated.
The company has experience in rails and is already supplying rails to other countries like Iran, Bangladesh, Mozambique and Brazil.
It has yet to enter the domestic rail space as the Indian Railways has been procuring rails from SAIL under an agreement it had signed with the PSU.