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"India second largest steel producer soon "

Posted on Oct 10, 07:15PM | IBNS

Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Wednesday said India is the fourth largest steel producer in the world and will soon be the second largest.

He said this while addressing the 46th Annual Conference of World Steel Association here.

He said that world's crude steel production has increased steadily in the past decade from 851 million tonnes in 2001 to 1,527 million tonnes in 2011.

"World's Crude steel production has increased steadily in the past decade from 851 million tonnes in 2001 to 1,527 million tonnes in 2011. Emerging steel making countries are contributing to this trend and entering the league of major steel players," said Verma.

"India is one such country which has surpassed all estimates of growth and is today the 4th largest steel producer in the world and will soon be the second largest," he said.

Verma said that the steel capacity in India has increased from 66 million tonnes in 2009 to about 90 million tonnes in 2012.

"The capacity is all set to increase further as Steel plants in both public and private sectors have taken up expansion and modernization programs. As per projection, the capacity in the country would grow to around 200 million tonnes by 2020," the minister said.

Text of the speech delivered by Verma:

"I am delighted to be amongst you, in the 46th Annual Conference of World Steel Association which is taking place in India for the first time. The event provides a platform to the steel industry to deliberate upon issues pertaining to the growth of steel sector. I believe that the World Steel Association serves as a nodal organisation for promoting global steel Industry. This event would help in providing positive outcomes for the world steel industry and lead to sustainable growth.

World's Crude steel production has increased steadily in the past decade from 851 million tonnes in 2001 to 1,527 million tonnes in 2011. Emerging steel making countries are contributing to this trend and entering the league of major steel players. India is one such country which has surpassed all estimates of growth and is today the 4th largest steel producer in the world and will soon be the second largest.

The steel capacity in India has increased from 66 million tonnes in 2009 to about 90 million tonnes in 2012. The capacity is all set to increase further as Steel plants in both public and private sectors have taken up expansion and modernization programs. As per projection, the capacity in the country would grow to around 200 million tonnes by 2020.

Government of India is making efforts to fuel this growth by providing a good investment climate to domestic and foreign steel makers in the country. In line with the increase in capacities, the per capita consumption of steel has also been increasing, but is still below the World's average. Steps are being taken to improve this through many schemes to give a boost to the use of steel, especially in the rural areas.

A National Steel Policy is being prepared, which will provide the necessary vision and framework for increasing steel production and consumption in India.We welcome partnerships with leading global steel makers to improve process and product technologies and are always open to new ideas.

Today, the environment has become a key area of concern. I must tell you that India is part of this growing consensus for adoption of environment friendly steel making technologies. I personally feel that the carbon footprint of the steel industry must be brought down significantly by sharing advanced technologies through strategic partnerships for clean and green steel production.

For achieving growth in the Indian steel industry it is important to have raw material security. This would include optimum resource utilization and securing raw material sources abroad. Global strategic partnerships will play an important role in achieving this.

India has a sizeable quantity of iron ore fines, which at present are not being fully utilised for want of suitable beneficiation and pelletisation technologies. We plan to use modern techniques of beneficiation and pelletisation for adding value to our iron ore and also for optimum utilisation of our mineral resources.

At present, the Indian steel industry is dependent largely on imported coking coal. For increasing the country's steel production, it is therefore important that we maximise the usage of indigenous coking coal by adopting latest coal washing technologies. Besides, it is also important to adopt alternate iron making technologies which can use directly non-coking coal and low grade iron ore fines. The recent JV agreement with KOBE Steel, Japan for the ITmk3 technology is a step in the right direction.

For every ton of steel production about 4 ton of material is to be transported. Therefore logistics is a major challenge. It is planned to tackle this by improving rail, road and port infrastructure and using alternate methods like slurry pipelines for movement of inputs.

Research and Development will play a critical role in improving processes and products. It is being planned to undertake state of the art Research and Development activities indigenously. In order to do this, a policy paper with focus on iron ore beneficiation, coal ash reduction and production of value added steel has been published by the Ministry of Steel and the recommendations are being implemented.

I feel that the future of Indian steel lies in improving efficiencies and forming strategic partnerships with countries which plan to share their expertise with us. I invite industries from other countries to come and set up steel plants in India and assure them simpler procedures and faster processing. I am confident that this conference will strengthen ties amongst the members and define the future path for the steel industry.

I wish the Conference all success".