ICCL in talks with FIs, lenders for debt revamp
Oct 25, 2002
The Hindu Business Line

Ferro chrome major Indian Charge Chrome Ltd. (ICCL), an IMFA group company, is hopeful of soon putting in place a debt restructuring package. Negotiations in this regard have already been initiated with financial institutions and other term lending institutions.

In the meanwhile, ICCL has begun to make repayments to the tune of 85 per cent of its net cash flows.

During January-September 2002, the company has repaid debts of over Rs 50 crore. An additional amount of Rs 45 crore has been paid to creditors in phases earlier.

According to Mr Subhrakant Panda, Joint Managing Director of ICCL, the company was focussed on the debt restructuring proposal at the moment. Following its finalisation and subsequent implementation, ICCL would take up diversification and expansion projects, including backward integration into coal mining for which in-principle clearance has already been received from the Centre.

Mr Panda told Business Line that ICCL was conceptualised as a 100 per cent export-oriented, integrated chrome alloy complex with a 108 MW capacity thermal power plant which, besides meeting the electricity requirements of the IMFA group, also supplies power to the State grid.

However, the imbroglio over grant of chrome ore mines in the late nineties and the steep fall in the international prices of ferro chrome had an adverse impact on the company. Following the allotment of chrome ore mines - which became operational in January 2000 - to the IMFA group, ICCL has effected a turnaround in its operations.

It is hopeful of registering a cash profit in the current fiscal.

Mr Panda said ferro chrome produced by the company is exported to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Several European countries.

The company's export earnings during the year 2001-02 stood at Rs 60 crore while its total turnover - including sales in the domestic tariff area and proceeds from sale of power - was Rs 153 crore.

During the year ending March 31, 2003, ICCL has targeted a turnover of Rs 180 crore. Of this, Rs 75 crore is expected to be accounted for by exports.

In the current fiscal, ICCL hopes to achieve optimal ferro chrome production thereby producing 60,000 tonnes of ferro chrome during the year. During the first six months ended September 30, 2002, the company produced 30,000 tonnes of ferro chrome.

With a plant load factor of 99 per cent, power generation of 417 million units has also been achieved.

Last year, ICCL's chrome production and power generation had been lower on account of a 41-day shutdown of the plant for relining of the furnace and lower internal power requirement.

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