New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) will commission the blast furnace at Angul, Odisha by early April to add an additional 3.5 million tonnes capacity, its Managing Director and CEO Ravi Uppal said.

Besides, the company will continue with its assets sale strategy to improve its financial health and retire a huge Rs 45,600-crore debt, he added.

JSPL managed to narrow down its consolidated net loss for the third quarter by 48 per cent to Rs 455 crore.

“We are heading towards a turnaround. We will commission the blast furnace at Angul, Odisha by next month or early April to add an additional 3.5 million tonnes capacity,” Uppal told PTI.

The blast furnace at Angul that will be among the biggest in the country is expected enhance capacity.

The company has already commissioned 1.8 MTPA DRI plant at its greenfield project at Angul, Odisha.

Uppal said once the blast furnace is commissioned, JSPL will become India’s fourth largest steelmaker after JSW, SAIL and Tata Steel.

The blast furnace at Angul is part of the company’s proposed 12.5 MTPA steel plant and 2,600 MW of power projects in phases.

In the first phase, the company is setting up a 6 MTPA integrated steel plant at Angul.

Asked about ways to retire debt, the company CEO said, “We are not adding any new debt and identified a few non-core assets that we will continue to sell to improve our financial health.”

He said of the total about Rs 45,600 crore debt, the debt of JSPL steel business is approximately Rs 24,000 crore followed by about Rs 12,000 crore debt of international business and about Rs 8,500 crore of Jindal Power.

“The company’s consolidated net debt as on December 31, 2016 was maintained at similar levels as in previous quarter.

JSPL remains committed to meet all its debt commitments and the company is aiming to bring down the annual cash outflow in terms of repayments and interest by utilising various schemes provided by the government, including but not limited to 5/25 and S4A. For its overseas debt, the company is in constant discussions with its lenders to restructure and refinance its loans,” the company had said last week.

Asked about specific assets to be sold, Uppal said talks were on and once finalised the details would be disclosed.

The company is selling off its power assets to JSW Energy for about Rs 5,000 crore while it has already sold its wind power business besides divesting about Rs 100 crore market investments.

For the third quarter the company’s turnover saw a 25 per cent growth to Rs 5,408 crore as against Rs 4,336 crore in the same quarter of 2015-16.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.