New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Tata Steel is turning to Asia and Africa for growth as its European operation would stay stressed from an steep decline in demand following the economic downturn in the developed world, especially the European Union.
"Steel plants are being closed or moth-balled to conserve costs and to control over-supply," chairman Ratan Tata said in a statement in the company's annual report, referring the fall in steel consumption in the West.
"By contrast, the demand for steel is still buoyant in Asia and Africa where growth rates and investment levels are higher than the West and where new sources of iron ore and coking coal are being developed," he said.
Tata steel has coal mining asset in Mozambique. It is planning to set up a plant in Vietnam. The company has operations in China and Thailand.
Tata said by 2014, the company would have a global capacity of 33.5 million tonnes adding another three million tonnes on full implementation of the Odisha project.
Tata Steel's new 6 million tonne per annum plant in Odisha is under construction.
The 2.9 million tonne expansion project in Jamshedpur is likely to go onstream this fiscal, taking te plant's capacity to 9.7 million tonnes.
According to him, the demand for steel in India remains robust and, in fact, continues to outstrip supply.
"Unfortunately, major greenfield projects which would substantially increase domestic steel capacity are facing enormous delays due to hurdles in land acquisitions and approvals for the necessary mining rights to feed these new plants."
Steel demand in India is expected to grow manifold given the significant need for infrastructure and increasing urbanisation.