Steel industry can be a leader in ‘Make in India’ campaign – Experts at CII
Need cost & energy effective technologies, better infra linkages & skilled workforce to achieve target of 300 mtpa by 2025 – Experts at CII Steel Mart 2015
NewZNew (Chandigarh) : India has the potential to become the second largest consumer as well as the producer of steel in the world, considering its huge population, thrust on infrastructure, present levels of very low per capita steel consumption at 59 kg and a huge rural untapped market. Hence steel sector could be a major contributor in the Make in India campaign, especially in the northern region, owing to a huge base of secondary steel manufacturers. But to achieve this, we need to put in place most advanced cost and energy effective technologies, strengthen supply chain linkages, develop industry – academia linkages, set up robust railway network and invest heavily in Research & Development (R&D) and skilling to find out innovative ways and means of production and value addition. This was a joint call asserted by the top experts who converged at the 2nd day of Steel Mart organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to drive Make in India in Steel at CII NR Headquarters in sector 31 A, here today.
“The cost of Indian steel production is amongst the lowest in the world. This makes it not only attractive for the Indian entrepreneur but also for overseas companies on the lookout for a low cost producing centre. Hence, we can promote India as a hub of steel manufacturing as part of Make in India campaign”, shared Mr V M Ganesh, Deputy General Manager, Economic Research Unit of Joint Plant Committee, Ministry of Steel, GoI.
“It is however unfortunate that we are still dependent on other countries for advanced solutions and energy efficient machines and processes. Our SMEs whose share is 50 % of total production do not have proper access to the latest technologies, methods and equipment. Even our conventional Integrated plants are 50% more energy intensive than global average”, added Mr Ganesh.
“To achieve the target of 300 Million tonne per annum (Mtpa) from present 110 mtpa, we need another 16 lakh skilled manpower for steel and allied sectors, for which we certainly are not geared up. There is a need to vigorously focus on skill development and more and more industry-institute joint programmes. Further, to absorb this huge production, Govt needs to speed up the stalled infra projects and also increase its demand in rural areas by showcasing benefits of steel to rural population”, Mr Anutosh Maitra, Chief Executive Officer, Bokaro Steel Limited.
“Steel is indeed the backbone of the whole economy because it provides 5 indirect jobs in allied and ancillary sectors for every one direct job. But Indian steel is not rated very high in the world because of lot of quality, environment and production issues. If we have to stay in competition, it is highly imperative and urgent that implement ‘Zero Defect Zero effect in steel industry. We especially need to mitigate the harmful effects of our processes on environment, otherwise Indian steel would be blanket banned all across the world and we would not be able to export at all. Induction furnace route which is quite popular in India is not sustainable because of high energy consumption and associated greenhouse gases emissions, besides quality related issues”, shared Mr Prakash Kumar Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Durgapur Steel Plant.
Dr Uma Batra, Professor & Head, Department of Materials, & Metallurgical Engineering, PEC University of Technology called for framing up a ‘structured document showcasing complete guidelines, processes, latest technologies and procedures’ for the benefit of small and medium players. She also highlighted the need for facilitating of visits of students to the steel plants while they are studying and setting up of steel specific skill Development Centers, Faculty Development Centers.
“CII Steel Mart 2015 has helped us gain a thorough knowledge of the issues of the industry. CII would actively strive to improve the condition of the steel industry. We would also like to take up various key issues of concern with Govt as well, wherever its support is required. CII would request the Govt to speed up the infrastructure development projects, make steel corridors on the lines of freight corridors and earmark coal blocks for steel manufacturing in India so as to reduce dependence on imports” shared Mr S S Bhogal, Chairman, CII Punjab State Council.