RINL is a leading Indian producer of steel long products. In the 2019-20 financial year, the company is expected to produce ~6.4 million tonnes of liquid steel.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
1970: Gandhi announces decision to build Visakhapatnam steel plant.
1971: Visakhapatnam Steel Plant ('Vizag Steel') founded in 1971.
1977: Detailed plan finalised for construction of RINL.
1982: NewCo named Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) is formed.
1982: Construction of first blast furnace commences.
2009: Plan launched to increase capacity from 3.6 to 6.3 mt/yr.
2009: Sets up RINMOIL ferroalloy joint venture.
2012: 19 die in explosion soon after commissioning of oxygen plant.
2016: Commences operation of solar panels at Visakhapatnam.
2016: Steel Ministry requests Coal Ministry for RINL coal allocation.
2017: Signs MoU with APMDC for Kukunoor iron ore mines.
2017: Signs MoU for JV with Cement Corporation of India (CCI).
2018: Signals ambition to commence production of flat-rolled steels.
2020: Commences production of forged railway wheels.
2020: Starts discussions with POSCO on 5 mt/yr greenfield steel plant in Vizag.
2021: Government proposal for privatisation of RINL faces fierce opposition.
2021: Protests at Vizag steel plant intensify as Union govt expedites privatisation.
1977: M. N. Dastur & Company, headquartered in Kolkata, were the consulting engineers who prepared the RINL construction project. The original plan was for a 3.4 mt/year liquid steel capacity plant.
1982: When founded, Vizag Steel was under SAIL ownership. The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (more commonly known as Vizag Steel) was transferred to RINL ownership in April 1982.
2009: RINMOIL Ferro Alloys Private Limited was created as a Joint Venture Company of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) and Manganese Ore (India) Limited (later renamed M.O.I.L.) with 50:50 shareholding. The Company RINMOIL was incorporated on 29th July 2009 with the intention to a ferro alloys plant at Andhra Pradesh.
2012: The explosion occurred in the recently commissioned oxygen plant in steel melt shop III. Trade union officials alleged that routine maintenance work had been neglected for over 12 months.
2016: Inauguration of RINL's 5 MW solar power plant, built at a cost of Rs 33 crore, took lace in December. The investment was made in line with the government's desire for industry to make more use of renewable energy sources.
2016: RINL had been requesting direct allocation of thermal and coking coal blocks for some time. The requests concerned coal blocks at Baitrani West Terminal, Talabira I & II, Choritand Tilaiya, Utkal A and Rampia in Odisha.
2017: Memorandum of Understanding with Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Ltd was for exploration and exploitation of the Kukunoor iron ore mines located in the West Godavari district and spanning an area of ~2800 hectares.
Establishment of in-house iron ore mining capability was considered to be a strategic [and cost] priority at this time, especially because RINL (unlike Steel Authority of India) did not have access to a captive iron ore supply.
2017: Cement JV was for investment in a two million tonne per annum cement plant supplied with blast furnace slag.
2018: Preliminary discussions to start production of high-grade automotive steel reportedly took place with Hyundai in late 2018. Further discussions with POSCO and Hyundai on the topic of a greenfield steel plant investment near to the RINL Visakhapatnam plant reportedly also took place in mid-2019.
The more recent talks centred on a new 3-5 million tonne / year plant that would produce special grade automotive steels. Land belonging to RINL would be Vizag Steel's equity contribution to this venture.
2020: Forged wheel production (for Indian Railways) commenced in February at RINL's Lalgunj plant, located near the rail coach factory in the Rae Bareli area of Uttar Pradesh. Capacity of the new wheel plant was 100,000 high speed wheels / year.
2020: RINL-POSCO investment in new 5 million tonne / year Vizag steel mill is estimated at Rs 35,000 crore.
2021: One of the objectives of the proposed privatisation was the restoration of profitability at Vizag Steel. Whilst the firm faces some cost competitiveness issues because it does not have ownership of an iron ore mine, a further problem is high debt originating from large loans taken out for modernisation and capacity expansion. Although privatisation might offer possibilities for reduction of this debt burden, this is a step that employees especially fiercely oppose.
2021: July 2021 protests were in response to Union government invitations for bids from transaction advisors and legal experts, to manage the strategic sale of the steel plant.