Tata Steel sets cost-cutting target of R1,200 cr for India

Even as Tata Steel gears up to restructure its European operations to meet an 80% capacity utilisation target for its plants there, the steel major's Indian operations would continue to pursue a cost-cutting target of R1,200 crore set for 2012-13.

"It is a continuous effort by all our employees. This year we have fixed a target of around R1,200 crore," Tata Steel managing director HM Nerurkar told FE on being asked about the firm's cost-cutting target this year.

As to whether Tata Steel Europe, which along with other steel producers in the continent, has been witnessing a sharp dip in demand there, intended to cut down production further from the 80% level it was operating currently, Nerurkar said, "We still would be running at the same level (80%). There was a blast furnace shutdown at Port Talbot in the last quarter (July-Sept) that led to lower production. We hope to restart it after relining by mid-January (2013) and hope that the market situation would improve in the last quarter (January-March 2013)".

Tata Steel Europe had in 2011-12 produced 14.27 mt steel, down from 14.80 mt in the previous year.  Employees in Europe, the Tata Steel MD said, were also doing their best to cut costs, improve product quality and a new product development programme was also being pursued by the firm.

"We have a difficult period (in Europe), we have to go through that. We will have issues, there is also a restructuring programme there," said Nerurkar, adding that there was "no immediate plan" to lower production in Europe.

Talking about the ongoing third quarter of Indian operations, Nerurkar said things were going as per plan and that the company would be attaining the full 3 mtpa additional capacity installed in recent years in the fourth quarter (January-March 2013) that would take the steel major's total capacity here to 10 mtpa.

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