KOLKATA: JSW SteelBSE -1.72 % is pursuing options to expand its presence into Europe and is eyeing Italian long products company Aferpi as part of its strategy.
"It is one of the projects we're looking at," JSW Steel chairman Sajjan Jindal told S&P Global Platts on the sidelines of the World Steel Association's annual meeting in Brussels. "That's part of our strategy, to expand globally." "I think Europe is more on the agenda right now," Jindal said of the company's expansion plans.
The Italian firm is owned by Algerian group Cevital which is looking to find possible solutions for it and submit an industrial plan to Italian government by end of October.
JSW is believed to one of the eight global bidders for Aferpi. The facility has been operating off and on over the past few months, and its rail mill -- the only unit currently online -- was recently restarted to produce a 15,000 mt rail order for Ferrovie dello Stato.
The Platts report said Jindal didn't elaborate on JSW's potential plans for Aferpi. JSW currently sells 75-80% of its output within India, with the rest going to markets including Africa, South America, Europe and eastern Asia, he said.
Incidentally, JSW Steel had earlier tried to acquire the mill in 2014, when it was known as Lucchini. The Algerian conglomerate, Cevital, acquired Lucchini and renamed it Acciaierie e Ferriere di Piombino (Aferpi).
Back home, the Indian steel market is currently experiencing 4-5% annual demand growth, Jindal said. "Globally, if you see 4-5% it's a very healthy rate, but in India we need to grow at about 8-10% steel consumption because we are looking at 8% growth in GDP, and steel is always 1.2-1.25 times the GDP growth," he said. "The world is now going to solar in a big way. Solar is quite steel intensive, so we will be doing that," he added.