Teh Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Rashtriya Isptat Nigam Ltd and Vizag Steel Plant, A.P. Choudhary on Thursday said that India would emserge as the front-runner in the global industry with skilled work force available in the country, expertise in steelmaking, quality iron ore reserves, favourable demographic profile and conducive investment climate.
Addressing the second Indian steel market conference conducted by Steelguru, a leading steel portal at New Delhi, he shared his views in ‘Indian Steel growth Story – Progress, Impediments and Future'.
He said the Indian steel industry had grown significantly during the last few years from an humble beginning of 0.06 MT in the early part of 20th century to around 42 MT in the early 21st century and today it emerged as the fourth largest steel producer in the world, with a production of 70 plus million tones.
Until around 2002-2003, the focus of the Indian steel industry had been on profitability and generation of funds to meet the up-gradation and modernisation needs, he added.
Mr. Choudhary said that another welcome factor was the development that had taken place in the recent past, leading to increase in the steel consumption in the rural areas.
The consumption which was around two to three kg., had increased to 10, and even then, a huge gap remained when we compared with the national average of 55 kg. Therefore, there was a great potential for growth in the next decade, he felt.
He outlined the importance of alternative technologies, such as Finex, for use of low grade Iron Ore fines are emerging which needs to be commercialised for effective utilisation of low grade Iron Ore.
Pelletisation was another option as it would assume significant importance in the coming years.
Raw material security
The major challenge was the raw material security.
The steel production in the country was expected to double to 150 million tonnes in the next decade which would require close to 250 million tonnes of iron ore.
The country's reserves would not support this requirement for a long time and there was need to curtail the exports.
The Government had already started thinking in these lines which was a welcome move, he noted.
A galaxy of speakers who included Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Steel, Machendra Nathan, MD and CEO of JSPL, V.R. Sharma, CEO of Essar Dileep Omen and others attended.
India is the fourth largest steep producer in the world Increase in the steel consumption in the rural areas is a welcome sign: CMD
India is the fourth largest steep producer in the world
Increase in the steel consumption in the rural areas is a welcome sign: CMD