JSW Steel is undertaking various initiatives to reduce carbon footprint in line with India's net zero ambitions, its Chairman Sajjan Jindal said on Wednesday.
According to the industrialist, his company has already earmarked a sum of Rs 10,000 crore to increase the use of renewable energy to replace thermal power and other green initiatives.
"We are undertaking a host of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, aligned with India's net zero ambitions and are envisaging an investment of Rs 10,000 crore towards this. One such initiative is to increase the use of renewable power in our operations," Jindal said, addressing the shareholders at the company's 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
JSW Steel contracted for 1 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy, of which 225 MW has become operational in April 2022, and the balance will come on stream in phases, he noted.
On Monday, the company announced it has partnered with US-based Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to develop strategies to meet its decarbonisation goals. It has an ambitious target of reducing its carbon emission by 42 per cent by 2029-30 versus the base year 2005.
As per the Ministry of Steel, the iron and steel industry globally accounts for around 8 per cent of total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on an annual basis, whereas in India, it contributes 12 per cent to the total CO2 emissions.
On the company's performance during the fiscal ended March 31, 2022, the Chairman said, "We delivered yet another year of record financial performance, with revenues growing by 83 per cent. We recorded our highest-ever EBITDA and PAT, each growing by 94 per cent and 166 per cent, respectively".
The pandemic continued to pose challenges, especially during the first quarter of the financial year, with the unfortunate second wave hitting India. However, JSW Steel did not have to shut down its operations, though it reduced utilisations temporarily to divert oxygen for medical use.
JSW Steel's crude steel production was 19.51 million tonne (MT) in FY22, with contributions from the Bhushan Power and Steel acquisition and Dolvi Phase-2 expansion.
"We continue to focus on high-margin, value-added products, which accounted for 60 per cent of our sales. Our balance sheet remains strong, with consolidated net debt-to-EBITDA at 1.45 times. Our international operations in the USA did well during the year and turned profitable.
"Recent acquisitions – Asian Colour Coated, Vallabh Tinplate, Bhushan Power & Steel, and JSW Ispat Special Products – delivered robust performance during the year," Jindal said.
By FY25, he said JSW Steel expects its consolidated steelmaking capacity in India to be at 37 million tonnes per annum from 27 million tonnes per annum at present. These additions are being complemented by growing downstream capacities, which have increased significantly in the past 2-3 years.
On the duty on steel intermediaries, he said, "We view the export duties imposed on steel in May 2022 as a significant, but short-term headwind. We continue to engage with the government on this matter and believe that the duties were imposed only to rein in inflation and will be withdrawn once inflation moderates".
The steel industry through the Indian Steel Association is constructively engaging with the government on this matter.