India’s state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (Sail) has decided to postpone the production of head hardened (HH) rails at Bhilai amid a lack of foreign experts for trials. Travel restrictions impacted passenger travel during the second wave of COVID-19 in India. European experts left India in April as India grappled with the rising tally of the virus cases.
Sail performed hot trials of HH rails in March, after which the pandemic stalled the process. Since the entire trial was done under the supervision of foreign experts, it can only restart once the experts can return, states the company.
Sail had earlier announced plans to commence HH tracks production in FY 2020-21.
HH tracks will propel the country towards more high-speed cargo lanes and subways. With this project, Sail would become the second steel manufacturer of HH rails after Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL). Sail’s plant for HH production is at Universal Rail Mill (URM) in Bhilai. JSPL’s mill is located in Raigarh, both in the state of Chattishgarh.
Sail has already received permission for URM for long panel welded rails from Indian railways and has now added capacity for HH rails. Sail produces 21mn mt steel and steel products every year.