Prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated here the upgraded steel plant of IISCO that has the country’s largest blast furnace and has been modernised at a cost of Rs.16,000 crore.

After modernisation, the plant’s production capacity has increased from 0.85 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 2.9 mtpa.

"This steel plant has been reborn and has the nation’s largest blast furnace with a capacity to produce 2.9 million tonnes of steel. In times to come, the capacity of this steel plant will be increased," Minister of Steel Narendra Singh Tomar said during the plant’s inauguration.

With West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by his side, Modi inaugurated the upgraded plant by unveiling a plaque at the Asansol Polo Ground in Burdwan district.

Tomar said the central government had planned to attain a capacity to produce 300 million tonnes of steel by 2025 to meet industry demands.

"SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd) has targeted to achieve a capacity of 50 million tonnes. As its capacity will increase further, West Bengal will be benefited from it," he said.

IISCO (Indian Iron and Steel Co) was taken over by the central government in 1972 as part of a nationalization drive and made a fully-owned subsidiary of SAIL in 1978.

The revamped plant in Burnpur, now hosting the nation’s largest blast furnace, is spread across 953 acres is the fifth integrated steel plant of SAIL.