We are looking to divest some of the assets which are not really critical to our operations, said Naveen Jindal, Chairman, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL).
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Jindal said if there is a requirement, we will our expand steel plant at Angul in Odisha.
Watch: May look at expansion of steel plant at Angul, Odisha, says Naveen Jindal
He said there is a severe shortage of coal domestically and I hope that Coal India will increase its production.
Edited Excerpts: What are the expansion plans for the company?
Maybe after three to four years, once we have paid majority of our debt, we would like to expand but not borrowing. We would not like to borrow, just from our internal accruals in the future, once we are able to expand, then we will definitely like to do that. In this location, we can easily build 12 million tonne steel plant in Angul in Odisha. The location is very close to the port and there are plenty of iron ore here. So if there is a requirement, if we have to reach 300 million tonne of capacity, definitely JSPL will be a major player and we will play its role.
Since you have assets abroad, you have a power business and you have a steel business, do you have any plan to demerge these businesses?
We have been advised by many people, that presently JSPL has a very sizeable power in it. JSPL has more than 5,000 megawatt power capacity in it. So it's always a natural thing for people to advise us that steel business should be separated and power business should be separated. So, we are considering in the future, we are evaluating the various options and after taking all the due approvals and taking all the stakeholders view on board, we will like to do that in the future.
Considering in the background, we have a power plant and coal shortage is a current issue. Captive power producers say they are facing shortage of coal, independent power producers also say that they are facing shortage of coal supply. How is it working for you?
There is a severe shortage of coal domestically. So all our steel plants, wherever we need coal, most of the steel plants we are running on 90% imported coal. For power generation, we are able to get coal. There is a crisis and it's very expensive. I hope that Coal India will increase its production because there is no reason why there should be shortage.
You have often said that you are in the business of making steel and not divesting your assets, but if sources are to be believed, you are very close to selling your African mines and could you tell us something about it?
African mines is not a core asset to us. We do have a anthracite mine in South Africa and we have a very big coal reserve, a 6.5 billion tonne in Botswana, as much as the whole Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in India was talking about. These are some of the assets which are not really critical to our operations. So if we get the right price, we would look at divesting these.
But are you not actually in talks with investors to sell that and if you are what is the timeline and how much value will that be of?
All these things, I am not supposed to disclose, what value or who investors. There is interest by some investors, let us see if it fructifies into something.
In 2015, I believe that consultants were brought in to ease the cross holdings in each company. You and your brothers share a quite a cordial relationship what has happened to that?
Well, pretty much that exercise is already completed. When my father was there, he had made the principles very clear. There is no issue between us brothers, there is a lot of love and respect for each other. We all the time work with each other, support each other. By God's grace, things are wonderful between the family and we hope to keep it that way.
Well, even earlier there was no issue like that and now things have only become better.
But has that unwinding of cross holding helped in terms of leveraging your assets?