Indian Steel Industry Needs To Become Highly Competitive and Develop Benchmark Parameters as World-Class Steel Producer
Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh Addresses Second Regional Conference on ‘Make in India-Make in Steel’ in Ludhiana Punjab
New Delhi, March 07, 2017
Phalguna 16, Saka 1938
The Union Steel Minister Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh inaugurated the second regional conference on ‘Make in India-Make in Steel ’and‘ Doubling per capita Steel Consumption’ in Ludhiana Punjab today. The north region conference organized by Ministry of Steel was held in the presence of the Minister of State for Steel Shri Vishnu Deo Sai, Dr. Aruna Sharma, Secretary Steel, Shri P.K. Singh, Chairman SAIL and dignitaries from Indian Steel Association and representatives from private steel sector. Considering the presence of industrial hub in North India including two-wheelers & cycle manufacturing, pipes and tubes, re-rolling mills, engineering goods & equipments, strong farm based economy and hilly terrains; northern region assumes importance for steel industry in terms of both production and consumption. Addressing the conference Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said, “Northern region accounts for 40% of steel consumption and more ideas on steel demand enhancement will be generated at the Ludhiana Conference. Domestic steel industry, which contributes 2% to the GDP, has huge potential, but there is need for diversification and innovation to generate demand in the steel industry. The Indian steel industry has to become highly competitive and it has to benchmark the parameters for becoming a world-class steel producer.”
The Minister added that steel industry needs to compete and fight with other industries supplying substitution materials for steel. Shri Birender Singh while outlining the unique qualities of steel including life cycle cost, recyclability, reusability, strength and durability said that, “Steel structures have a longer life span, are low on maintenance and provide smart solutions as well. Steel can be used for making bailey bridges; steel reinforced pavements, Pre-fab structures, furniture etc. and it can also find usage in making food-storing silos, water pipes for transporting drinking water and tanks for storing it. These are safer options and will last longer.” He said that FCI has plans to construct 100 lakh tonne steel silos by 2020 and northern states can contribute largely to it. Shri Singh praised the secondary steel industry in Northern states which use scrap intensive steel making thus reducing coking coal dependence and is also cost effective. He added that, “Steel industry’s landscape has undergone wide changes and more plants using melt and manufacture technologies should come up.”
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State, Shri Vishnu Deo Sai said, “While the ministry targets to escalate production to 300 million tonnes, the demand creation for this volume and marketing it, is the biggest challenge.” The Secretary Steel, Dr. Aruna Sharma said that, “The target is to substantially increase the per-capita steel consumption from the current 60 kg. The 2017-18 Central budget has given boost to steel consumption in various infrastructure sectors specially Railways, Defence and highways.” The delegates in the conference explored various modern options like use of Light weight high performance steel, pre-fab steel structures, steel use in ROBs, flyovers, crash barriers on Highways, silos, water pipes, agro tools etc. at a time which is most appropriate to showcase the immense advantages of use of steel in various applications. During the conference, various initiatives taken by the Ministry of Steel for steel promotion in Northern India were showcased. Low cost housing projects, steel-based sports stadia, other infrastructure for hilly terrains/ seismic zones, development of low cost steel frame houses and pre-fab steel intensive dwelling units suiting the needs of the terrain of eastern India are some of them.
Addressing the conference, Chairman SAIL, Shri. P.K. Singh said that, “steel consumption in India will increase as a result of ‘Make in India-Make in Steel’ initiative. Both urban and rural consumption is bound to increase due to various government initiatives. SAIL with its efforts in the direction of offering more value added and ready to use products is supporting this move.” The conference was attended by representatives from several other decision makers in projects in central and state Governments, architects, structural designers and consultants, project financers, contractors, fabricators, erectors, Faculties from Metallurgy, Mechanical and Civil Engineering departments, representatives from large infrastructure industry, steel engineers/ architects associations.