Pitching for market-driven prices for natural gas, Reliance Industries (RIL) has found very large gas reserves that need a price of more than $10 per million British thermal unit to be developed and produced. In a 18-page submission to the C Rangarajan Committee, which is examining terms of future contracts for exploration of oil and gas as well as basis for gas pricing, RIL stated that only market related prices can provide an incentive to help produce the vast domestic resources that either concentrated in small pools or are located in technologically challenging ultra deep sea. RIL (and partner) BP has around 5.5 Trillion cubic feet of discovered gas resources which would require large amount of risk capital to be invested. It currently gets paid $4.2 per mmBtu for the gas produced from its KG-D6 fields in Bay of Bengal. This rate is lower than what Cairn India gets in the neighbouring Ravva Satellite field in the same basin and UK's BG Group-operated Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields in western offshore.
State-run NMDC plans to increase its iron ore production capacity to 48 million tonnes per annum by 2014-15 from current installed capacity of 32 MTPA. The proposed capacity expansion would help it feed its upcoming steel-making plant in Chhattisgarh and also partly meet domestic steel makers growing demand. NMDC hopes to start one deposit at Balidala in Chhattisgarh with an annual capacity of 7 mtpa by next year. Work is also going on to develop Kumaraswamy deposits in Karnataka. NMDC has not given any expected time-line for the operations from this deposit to start. NMDC had produced 27.3 million tonnes iron ore in 2011-12, up from 25.2 million tonnes in the previous year.
Battling with delays in forest clearances for 178 projects from state governments, Coal India (CIL) has sought PMO's intervention for sorting out the issue with Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Though environment approval is available for a substantial number of projects, either forestry clearance is not there or land acquisition/rehabilitation issues are creating problems especially in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. The total environment clearance approved by MoEF is for an annual capacity of about 600 million tonnes (MT), whereas CIL is currently producing about 470 MT. As on date, a total of 178 forest proposals that are awaiting clearances at various levels included 125 that are awaiting stage I clearances and 53 which are awaiting stage II clearances.
Tata Steel has commissioned new coke oven battery number 10 and by-product plant at its Jamshedpur facility. The Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma commissioned the above on November 16, 2012. Built at a capacity of 0.7 million tonnes per annum, the coke oven battery number 10 and by-product plant would go into full production in the month of December 2012. Also it is part of the company's ambitious 9.7 MTPA expansion project in Jamshedpur which would improve the financial viability of the steel works significantly. Besides, the company's wholly owned subsidiary - Cogent Power, has developed a new electrical steel grades with guaranteed mechanical properties. The company has developed a range of new electrical steel grades suitable for hybrid (HEV) and electric vehicle (EV) drive motor applications.
Fertilizer maker Zuari Industries has signed a memorandum of understanding to set up an $800 million manufacturing facility in the United Arab Emirates. The plant in Ras al Khaimah will produce one million tonnes of diammonium phosphate fertilizer a year when it comes on-stream. The plant will be Zuari's first manufacturing facility outside India. Zauri and other Indian fertilizer manufacturers import most of their phosphate from Russia and the Middle East. Indian farms consumed about 7 million tonnes of DAP in the 2011 financial year.
Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services' rural housing finance subsidiary's loan book will grow up to Rs 1,000 crore by the end of the fiscal. Incorporated in 2007, Mahindra Rural Housing Finance (MRHF) offers loans for buying, renovating, extending and improving homes in rural and semi-urban markets. The company's average loan size is of around Rs 1.5 lakh and it is targeting to take the book up to Rs 4,000 crore by end of FY15 as there is good demand for the company's offering. MRHF's outstanding loan book had stood at Rs 676.7 crore as of the September quarter up from the year ago's Rs 418.3 crore. Besides, the company had notched up a post tax profit of Rs 62 crore for the six months ended September 2012 as against the Rs 38 crore in the year-ago period.
GMR Infrastructure, which is the holding company of GMR Energy, is setting up a 768 MW gas-fired power plant in Andhra Pradesh's Rajamundry district, and was scheduled to be commissioned this April. The 3,250-crore, 768 MW coal-fired Rajamundry project has a loan component of 2,600 crore taken from 11 banks. GMR Group has approached IDBI Bank, the lead bank to GMR Rajahmundry Energy, to reschedule its 2,600 crore loan. The group has also asked the lenders to allow the company to delay the commissioning of the project to April, 2014 as gas supply issues are yet to be resolved and the civil work not over so far.
Uttam Galva group has acquired majority stake of about 58.35 percent in ailing Lloyds Steel Industries and plans to invest additional Rs 380 crore in the steelmaker to turnaround the company. Lloyds Steel, which has a production capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), has reported net losses of Rs 290 crore in last three financial years. The company has a total loan portfolio (both, secured and unsecured) of about Rs 384 crore. The acquisition has been done in three phases by the Miglani family controlled group, for which the process had begun in March, when Uttam Galva had acquired 24.53 percent stake for about Rs 180 crore. Later, it was alloted 38 crore preferential shares by the Mumbai-based steelmaker and finally, it acquired about 6.37 percent stake for about Rs 77.44 crore through an open offer, which closed on November 07.
SRS Cinemas, part of the BSE- listed SRS, plans to add close to 20 screens to take its total count to 51 screens by the end of this fiscal as it eyes expansion across cities like Bhiwadi, Shimla and Lucknow. The expansion is primarily across TIER II and TIER III locations. The expansion would entail an investment of about Rs 25 crore, which would be funded through internal accrual. SRS has four lines of business: cinemas; retail; jewellery; and hotels and F&B. For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, SRS registered revenues of Rs 576.55 crore, up about 12 percent from Rs 515.92 crore in the same period last year. Of this, jewellery business accounted for the largest share, followed by retail and cinemas. The cinemas business witnessed growth of about 50 percent in the reported quarter.
India's premier International airline, Jet Airways has entered into a partnership pact with the Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN). The airline company has taken this step in order to offer budget and luxury hotel bookings within India and across the globe on its website. As part of the introductory offer, the guests of Jet Airways can enjoy an exclusive 5% discount at more than 160,000 hotels in over 20,000 cities across the world. The guests will be able to enjoy the discount only by booking their preferred hotel on jetairways.com or jetkonnect.com. Besides, by simply entering coupon code 'JET5HOTELS' on the 'Traveler Information' page, the guests can also avail the above exciting offer and enjoy great savings. The offer is valid for bookings made on or before November 30, 2012 and is applicable on room charges exclusive of taxes. Similarly, in any hotel offered by the EAN, the corporate travelers may book one night or two night group packages and avail discounts.