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Delighted with Indian Railways order; aim to pare debt by 10% in FY19, says Naveen Jindal

Updated : August 02, 2018 05:08 PM IST

Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) on Thursday said the company is delighted with Indian Railways order to supply one lakh tonne of long rails in the next 12 months.

In an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18, Naveen Jindal, chairman, said, "It has been a 15-year dream of the company to supply rails to Indian Railways. I must thank the government of India, railway ministry and steel ministry for encouraging the Indian steel producers to get this opportunity."

Jindal said JSPL was confident of being the lowest bidder, "We quoted much less than what they are already buying from Steel Authority of India."

With regards to debt, he said "The debt-equity ratio stands at 1.5:1 and debt levels on consolidated basis at Rs 42,000 crore are sustainable. Plan is to reduce debt by more than 10 percent every year. By FY19-end, the consolidated debt would be around Rs 36,000 crore."

Talking about steel prices, Jindal said internationally the prices are stable and during monsoon, the demand is a bit tepid for construction steel since construction activities slowdown.

However, October to March is the best season for the steel industry. As most of the steel companies do 60 percent of the turnover in the second half. JSPL is all set and ready to ramp-up production going forward, he added.

On the Oman business, Jindal said, "As of now, JSPL is operating at 1,50,000 to 1,60,000 tonne per month. But from October, it would be around 2,00,000 per month. So the capacity would go up from 1.8 million tonne to 2.4 million tonne from October."

Speaking on Oman subsidiary, Jindal said the work on listing Jindal Shadeed will start from the first quarter of next calendar year or last quarter of this financial year.

But, if the listing happens, it will be in either London or New York, he said.

Talking about demerger of steel, mining and power businesses, Jindal said JSPL would firm up all the plans in the next three months and would be interested in participating in commercial coal mining auctions.
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