Essar Steel plans to expand its global presence by building distribution networks in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia.

The company, which is increasing its capacity from 4.5Mt/y to 10Mt/y this fiscal year, will open service centres in Africa and South America for local customers.

It is building a centre in the UAE to tap west Asia and another in Vietnam for the South East Asian market. It already has a service centre in the UK.

It will supply its African and South American centres from its steel plants at either Hazira in India or the Algoma plant in Canada. The Hazira plant is close to a company port which can handle 30Mt/y of cargo.

The company has also launched its 100th Hypermart in Ranchi, East India. It now has 100 Hypermarts and 419 Expressmarts across India and plans to increase its numbers to 126 Hypermarts and 650 Expressmarts by March 2011.

The Hypermart makes steel avalable to end users close to the user point, the group said.