Japan's Kobe Steel and India’s Essar Steel have signed a partnership pact, as a result of which, the Indian company gains access to the technology for making high-grade steel products while providing raw materials to the Japanese company. It is for the first time that the $21.3-billion Kobe Steel has signed an agreement with an Indian steel company.
Essar Steel is an integrated steel producer with end-to-end control of all operations related to the steel making. The company offers products like iron ore pellets, hot briquetted sponge iron, hot-rolled products (coils, plates, sheets, and shot blasted and primed products), cold-rolled products (in coils/plates and sheets form) and galvanized products. The company offers API grade steel with low sulphur and steel slag (by-product) for use in the construction industry. Essar Steel CEO Dilip Oommen said, “This agreement will strengthen Essar Steel’s product portfolio and enable it to produce steel for high-end applications in auto segment. In addition, it opens the possibilities of working on joint projects in future.”
Earlier in 2002, Tata Steel had joined hands with Nippon Steel and Arcelor to assist the Indian company to develop high-grade steel for the automotive market, making the Kobe-Essar partnership, the second time that a major Indian steel company has teamed up with a Japanese company for technical collaboration.
The Indian automotive sector was one of the fastest expanding segments, till the current recession hit the economy.