Indian stainless steel longs producer Viraj Profiles Limited is set to raise its stainless steelmaking capacity by 52% to 528,000 tonnes/year by the end of this year via the addition of an AOD convertor at its Tarapur plant in the western state of Maharashtra. Viraj currently has 348,000 t/y of capacity to produce stainless steel ingots and billets via five existing induction furnaces, two AOD Converters with computerized Intelligent Refining System and 2 continuous billet / bloom casters. Its crude capacity is matched by its downstream production capacity, whereby about 55% of its products is made up of wire rods and 26% by bright bars. Viraj also plans to raise its downstream capacity to 400,000 t/y by 2012, with a focus on increasing bright bar, profiles and sections output. “This will be achieved through new section mill, addition of machinery and streamlining processes,” tells a Viraj spokesperson. Currently about 90% of Viraj’s products are of austenitic grades.