New Delhi: India has overtaken the US to become the world’s third largest steel producer and is working towards achieving 300 million tonnes (MT) target in the next 10 years, Union Steel & Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said today. “So far India was the 4th largest steel producer in the world only after China, Japan and the US. However, during the first five months of this calendar year, India has achieved the 3rd position in the global steel production,” Tomar said.
Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee, attached to his Ministries, in Bengaluru, Karnataka, the Minister said Indian steel industry is growing at a reasonably good pace and last year the growth in crude steel production in India was more than 8 per cent.
“However, per capita steel consumption is quite low, 60 kg as against the world average of 216 kg. The low consumption no doubt indicates huge growth potential for Indian steel industry. India has fixed a target of 300 MT production capacity by 2025 and the steel ministry is working out action plan and strategies to achieve this target,” he said as per an official statement issued here.
Indian steel industry is already in expansion mode. The older steel plants are being modernised and expanded. New green field plants are also coming with state-of-the-art technologies.
He told the members that recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dedicated the India’s largest Blast Furnace of 4160 cubic meter, installed at SAIL’s IISCO Steel plant at Burnpur and several Blast Furnaces of around 4000 cubic meter with world class efficiency parameters are in the operation in the country.
On Research and Development to sustain the long-term growth of the Indian steel industry, he said the problems in raw material area need to be addressed to utilise low-grade ore and high ash coal through R&D and technology interventions.
The statement said Tomar stressed the need to pursue R&D for development of value added products for which we are dependent on import. “We have also issued an advisory to all the large steel companies to step up R&D and enhance R&D investment up to 1 per cent of their sales turnover. SAIL has corporate R&D centre at Ranchi. RINL is also expending R&D infrastructure.
Large private sector companies have also set up good R&D facilities for addressing their problems,” he added. The Ministry of Steel is facilitating for setting up of a new institution SRTMI and is contributing 50 per cent in the corpus of SRTMI to spear head R&D of national importance.
In-principle approval for setting up of SRTMI has been given and CEOs of major Indian Steel Companies have signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Steel for participation and financial contribution in the initiative with an initial corpus of Rs 200 crore.