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Home arrow News arrow Business News arrow Infrastructure requirements to propel steel sector growth: Verma
Infrastructure requirements to propel steel sector growth: Verma Print E-mail
Written by Anand   
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
New Delhi: Huge infrastructure needs of the country call for rapid expansion of steel production capacities along with energy efficiencies and international techno-economic benchmarks, union minister of steel Beni Prasad Verma said today.

In the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), infrastructure spending is likely to exceed one trillion dollars. Rapid development in construction, industrial machinery, automobiles have propelled the demand for steel in the past five years.

Capacity addition must be put on fast track to make the country self-reliant in meeting future demand, he said while addressing delegates at ASSOCHAM’s 5th Steel Summit titled ‘Capacity, Value Creation and Competitiveness.’

The industry needs to increase auxiliary fuel injection in blast furnaces, use low-grade fines and slimes in the mines, explore alternate routes of iron making which can utilise non-coking coal and reduce carbon emissions, he said.

Mr Verma said India’s steel production capacity is likely to grow from 51 million tonnes in 2006 to 90 million tonnes by the end of 2011-12 and 150 million tonnes by 2018 with new investments by SAIL, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Essar and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.

The country is fourth largest in the world in terms of steel capacity and is expected to occupy the second position in the next four to five years. But there is no research and development visible in the sector, he said.

Secretary at the ministry of steel P.K. Misra said iron ore reserves may not be sufficient to meet the long-terms needs of steel industry. Indian manufacturers are dependant on international markets for coking coal and metallurgical coke requirements.

Meanwhile, Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), said domestic steel majors announced investments worth 25.8 billion dollars last year.

A total of 222 MoUs have been signed with various states for planned capacity of 276 million tonnes. Most investments are in Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

However, consolidation in steel industry will be led by strategic needs rather than financial considerations, said Mr Rawat regretting that many projects suffer inordinate delays due to lengthy procedures for obtaining permits and clearances.

Others present during the summit were chairperson of ASSOCHAM’s national council on iron and steel Sminu Jindal, chairman of Steel Authority of India Limited C.S. Verma, chairman and managing director of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited P.K. Bishnoi, deputy managing director and CEO of Jindal Steel and Power Limited V.R. Sharma, ASSOCHAM’s senior managing committee member K.C. Mehra, regional director of CRU International Manish Pande and director at IBM India Clifford Patrao.

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