Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday announced that the Steel Ministry proposed to take up more UNDP-sponsored projects for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in steel re-rolling mills.

Addressing the national conference on “Improving energy efficiency in Indian secondary steel sector including steel re-rolling mills” organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) here, Mr. Singh said all public sector steel companies have been advised to set energy efficiency and emission reduction as a key parameter in their modernisation and expansion programmes.

He urged the industry to come up with more research-based projects in the integrated steel sector and large scale steel plants. “Since India is becoming the fastest growing steel producing and consuming country in the world, time has now come for developing world-class steel technology in India and exporting it to other countries,” he said.

He said that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of UNDP aimed at energy efficiency, quality improvement, work reduction, improvement in the level of awareness, training of technical personnel and supporting the industry towards efficiency, productivity and profitability.

P. K. Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Steel, said the Ministry was working on innovative aspects of the GEF project such as benchmarking of energy-efficient technological packages, strengthening of institutional arrangements and third-party financing under energy servicing company. So far, the Government has identified 40 model units and the search for more model units is on.

Caitlin Wiesen-Antin, Country Director, UNDP India, pointed out that energy efficiency was a critical response to climate change mitigation, energy security and sustaining growth.

At present, the UNDP project in India covered 50 re-rolling mills. The project carries out energy audit, encourages the use of best practices and energy efficiency technologies.