Enter Wollongong Coal: Gujarat NRE gets a rebrand

Gujarat NRE shareholders have voted to rename the company to Wollongong Coal in a bid to focus on its “local” ties within the community.

The rebrand comes after a tumultuous year for the company which was in danger of going under before Jindal Steel took over as majority shareholder.

However chairman Jasbir Singh said the name change was not an attempt to distance the company from past troubles.

"That was never the idea," Singh said.

"[The company] was a subsidiary of Gujarat in India and now they are no longer the majority shareholder so we have to go away from that name."

He said Jindal Steel wanted to focus on the local ties it has with the Illawarra region.

"This company has operations only in Wollongong, so it has to be a local company and that's the main idea that we should have a local name," he said.

"We have [had] to look at it as a new start for the last many months because a lot of effort has [gone into bringing the company] to the stage it is at now, but I will say that with the Wollongong name it is a new chapter.”

The name change will come into effect after it receives approval from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Illawarra Mercury reported.

With two coal operations in the Illawarra region, Wongawilli and Russell Vale mines, Singh said the future of the company would focus on lower costs and sustainability.

"Our vision is that we have to make it a pure, low-cost coking coal company, which we have to put in the global market," he said.

More than 66 people have lost their jobs at the operation since Jindal took over and Singh could not rule out further cuts.

"Presently we have not thought about it, but we really want that the business has to be sustainable on a long-term basis," he said.

Jindal has invested over $110 million into the company since it took over as majority shareholder in October.

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