JSW Steel plans to reach a production capacity of 50 metric tons by 2030, potentially even before that year. They anticipate a rise in steel demand both domestically and globally. This expansion aims to cater to rebuilding efforts in war-torn and developed nations, as well as new constructions in developing countries like India.
In a recent interview, CEO Jayant Acharya spoke about JSW Steel's future and the current climate of the steel industry. He expressed optimism about the steel demand in India, expecting it to mirror the historical growth trends seen in Japan, Korea, and China.
Regarding geopolitical tensions in places like Ukraine, Acharya mentioned that these conflicts could actually offer an opportunity for India. European countries are increasingly interested in low carbon-emitting steel, a segment that JSW is looking to serve. Moreover, post-war rebuilding typically drives up steel demand, which could be beneficial for the company.
The company is planning to increase its capacity to 35 metric tons by FY 2024 and 37 metric tons by FY 2025 through expansions and debottlenecking operations. The expansion plans are primarily brownfield projects, which will be funded through the increased EBITDA generated by the new capacity. The target year is 2030, but Acharya hinted that they might achieve this goal sooner.
Despite the aggressive expansion plans by JSW Steel and its competitors, Acharya does not foresee the supply surpassing the demand. He believes that the steel demand will grow in tandem with India’s GDP, estimating an annual increase of 10-12 million metric tons of steel demand.
Export prospects for JSW Steel appear to be in good shape too. Even though India's export volume has decreased slightly, strong domestic demand offsets this loss. Acharya emphasized that geopolitics could divert trade flows, but remained optimistic due to India's unique growth trajectory.
For its part in the green transition, JSW Steel is working on an ambitious roadmap that includes renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. The company plans to invest around $1.3 billion in green technology and energy-efficient practices.
When asked about potential acquisitions, particularly Vedanta's iron ore mines, Acharya stated that JSW Steel aims to maintain 40% of its requirements from captive mines. They are actively bidding for more mines to increase this ratio to 60-70%.
JSW Steel is making bold moves to position itself as a major player in the steel industry, both domestically and globally. With ambitious production targets, sustainable practices, and strategic acquisitions, the company aims to meet the growing steel demand while also contributing to green initiatives. These plans, if successfully implemented, will undoubtedly make JSW a key player in the future landscape of the steel industry.