The Hindustan Steel Limited’s plant at Rourkela is located in Sundargarh district of Orissa along Kolkata-Nagpur rail-line. It was built up under the technical co-operation from the German firm, Krupps and Demag in 1959. The plant is located 412 km from Kolkata at the confluence of two rivers, the Sankha and the Koel (Brahmani).
The plant meets its requirements of iron ore from a new mine at Barsua about 72 km away from the factory. The iron ore is of good quality (Fe contents 61.3 to 66.58 per cent with estimated reserves of 2,740 million tons). Coal is obtained from Bokaro, Kargali, Jharia, Talcher and Korba fields. The coal from Bokaro and Kargali is washed at Kargali and that from Jharia at Dugda washer.
Manganese comes from Barajamda; limestone from Hathibari, Purnapani and Birmitrapur (24 kms away); dolomite from Baradwar; and regular supply of water from the Mandira dam (26 km away) across the Sankh river and from Mahanadi. A power plant (capacity 75,000 km) has been built near the plant and during peak hours additional power may be obtained from Hirakud hydro-electric system.
The plant uses new L.D. (Linz and Donawitz) process for steel making which produces cheap steel. Its major products include hot-rolled sheets and strips, cold-rolled sheets, galvanized sheets and electrical steel plates.
It specialises in the production of flat products. It is equipped with two blast furnaces, four open-hearth furnaces, three L.D. converters, blooming, and scabbing and plate mills. Its initial capacity of 10 lakh tonnes of ingot steel has been increased to 30 lakh tones. In 1997-98 it produced 40 lakh tones of crude steel and 31, 56,000 tones of saleable steel.
The plant also releases large quantity of nitrogen as byproduct which may be used for the manufacture of fertilizers and various chemicals like tar, benzole, toluene, xylene, solvent naphtha, creosote oil, wash oil, anthiacene oil, crude anthracite, crude phenol and naphthalene.