JSPL is also one of just seven global steel producers with the capability to manufacture head-hardened rails.

The Rs 3bn ($US 45.2m) plant is capable of delivering 30,000 tonnes of rail per month and has been set up in collaboration with SMS Meer, Germany.

Head hardening technology requires a special heat treatment process with precise temperature control to achieve an increase in hardness of nearly 50% in comparison with standard grades.

Head-hardened rails used in metro projects and freight corridors in India had previously been imported but JSPL says domestic production will facilitate delivery in shorter times and smaller order quantities when required, thereby reducing the dependence on imports.

The head-hardened rail facility can produce 30,000 tonnes per month, and India has a requirement of over 1 million tonnes of head-hardened rails over the next five years.