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Mumbai: ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India (AMNS India) reported a 17% year-on-year growth in its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the March quarter despite a dip in production, according to the earnings report of ArcelorMittal steel.

EBITDA for the quarter grew to $470 million (Rs 3,590 crore) compared to $403 million a year ago. The higher margins can be attributed to the present commodity upcycle.

Crude steel production during the three months dipped 5% year-on-year to 1.7 million tonnes due to planned maintenance during the quarter, the company said. It has kept its forecast for steel demand growth in the Indian market unchanged at 6-8%.

The company also made additional gains from external sales of pellets, a raw material in steel production, from its newly-commissioned Odisha plant. But it was offset in part by a negative price cost impact, the company said.

AMNS India has plans to debottleneck operations and achieve a manufacturing capacity of 8.8 million tonnes per annum. In the medium term, it plans to expand and grow to 14 million tonnes per annum and then to 18 million tonnes in the long term.

The company is a joint venture between Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal and Japan’s Nippon Steel, with the former owning a 60% stake.

In March 2021, AMNS India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government with plans of building an integrated steel plant with 12 million tonnes per annum capacity in the state. The company submitted a pre-feasibility study report to the state government last year and is presently in discussions with the government for further studies and clearances.

In September 2021, the company commenced operations at Ghoraburhani – Sagasahi iron ore mine in Odisha and the mine is set to produce 5 million tonnes of high-quality iron ore in 2022. The production will be gradually ramped up to a rated capacity of 7.2 million tonnes per annum and make up a significant share of AMNS India’s long-term raw material supplies.

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