n chandrasekaran: Tata Steel to become an intellectual property intensive, non-cyclical materials maker: N Chandrasekaran

will diversify beyond manufacturing the alloy into three major industries: composites, graphene and medical materials and devices, the company’s top management said in its annual report.

“Tata Steel aims to expand its knowledge and intellectual property activities in intensive and non-cyclical new materials,” said N Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Steel, in the annual report.

According to TV Narendran, the CEO and MD of Tata Steel and Koushik Chatterjee, the company’s executive director and CFO, the steelmaker has already developed a graphene production capacity of 100 tons per year and has invested in large-scale production of medical materials. . The medical materials segment has significant market opportunity in India, they said.

The company’s first port of call in the medical materials segment is Hydroxyapatite – a calcium phosphate-based ceramic used in orthopedic coatings on implants, dental implants, bone fillers, cosmetics and consumer products.

“We believe that our strengths in materials research and development, branding and marketing & sales give us the ability to deliver world-class bio-ceramics through a reliable supply chain to customers at competitive cost and scale,” says the said two executives.

For graphene, the company last week signed a memorandum of understanding with Kerala’s Digital University and Center for Materials for Electronics Technologies (C-MET) to develop a research center in the

state.

Speaking of the macroeconomic landscape, Chandrasekaran said ongoing geopolitical conflict, the re-imposition of lockdowns in China, global inflation and ongoing supply shortages could negatively impact global GDP growth in 2022.

“While there are risks of high input costs, Indian steel industry growth is likely to remain stable as domestic demand is expected to remain robust and global supply-demand dynamics can provide export opportunities,” he said.

After more than Rs 24,000 crore of consolidated debt in the fiscal year ended March, the 115-year-old company will in future play a balancing act between reducing debt and investing in newer companies, Narendran and Chatterjee said.

During FY23, the company’s largest capital allocation will go to the acquisition of Neelachal

Nigam Limited (NINL). Earlier this year, the company won the bid to acquire NINL for Rs 12,100 crore.

“NINL is especially important given its proximity to Tata Steel’s Kalinganagar site and its potential to become the business center for long products in the future,” they said.

The factory has been out of operation since March 2020. Tata Steel expects to start operations within six months of the completion of the acquisition and will aim to ramp up production to its nominal capacity of 1.1 million tons per year within 12 months, they said.

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