a) Mr. Beni Prasad Verma, Minister of Steel, said that the steel ministry has prepared a R&D Roadmap that seeks to incentivize investments in R&D by steel makers. He also laid stress on use of low grade iron ore and non-coking coal for steel making.
b) Mr N.K Nanda, Chairman and Managing Director, NMDC Ltd., said concerns regarding land acquisition must be addressed and planned development of mining activity should take place.
c) Mr. C.S. Verma, Chairman, CII National Committee on Steel, and SAIL Chairman said there was need to have single window clearances for mining leases, increased R&D to reduce energy consumption and building port, rail and road capacity to facilitate smooth movement of materials.
d) Mr A.P. Choudhary, Chairman and Managing Director, RINL, suggested that the government should encourage shore-based mega steel plants. This, he felt, would address the concerns of water availability and infrastructure.
e) Mr Dilip Oomen, Managing Director and CEO, Essar Steel India Ltd, said it was imperative that government policies be an enabler for growth. He also called for transparency in pricing, policy commitment and raw material security
f) Mr Arun Kumar Sinha, Joint Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, discussed the performance of the steel public sector enterprises. He noted that large investments were being made in modernization and capacity addition.
India’s status as a major player in the global steel industry is now well acknowledged. As the second fastest growing producer and consumer of steel, India, along with China, has decisively swung the balance of power in the steel industry towards the emerging world. For India to retain this growth momentum, though, several infrastructural and operational hurdles need to be overcome. The next few years are going to be critical for long-term development of the Indian steel industry.
Overview of Indian Steel Industry
The Indian steel industry is at the cusp of a sustained high-growth phase. Several factors contribute to this optimism:
Low per capita consumption with significant upside: While the per capita consumption has grown from 31 kg in 2003 to 56 kg in 2011, it is still less than 30% of the global average, presenting significant potential for growth (Figure 2 on page 3). Further, the Twelfth Five Year . Plan envisages an investment of USD 1 trillion in infrastructure, which will boost the demand for steel.
Increasing global competitiveness of Indian Steel makers: Indian steel makers are not only building their capabilities in this vast domestic market but have also established their credentials in the global market, with steel plant acquisitions, raw material asset acquisitions, and several strategic alliances with upstream and downstream players.
Increasing focus on innovation: The increasing focus on R&D by Indian companies has resulted in innovations in products and processes that enable them to compete in the global marketplace and
also contribute to sustainable development. However, the Indian steel industry faces several challenges:
Resource challenges: India relies heavily on coking coal imports. Also, iron ore availability has been hampered by a ban on illegal mining and inadequate ore linkages. A key imperative for Indian steel
Companies are ensuring sufficient raw materials to meet the industry’s current production levels and future growth trajectory.
Market challenges: As China has turned into a net exporter of steel since 2005, Indian steel has to compete with low-cost Chinese steel not only in global markets, but also in certain domestic product
categories such as CR coils, HR coils, and forging grade steel. Also, the global steel basket is seeing a rising share of special steels, which will require advanced production capabilities. It is therefore
critical to develop global cost efficiencies and production capabilities
to be a force to reckon with, in overseas markets.
Infrastructural challenges: The steel industry faces infrastructural challenges on two fronts: (1) Land acquisition and environmental clearance delays, which impede new project execution, and (2)
Bottlenecks in basic infrastructure such as roads, ports, power, and last-mile connectivity, which reduces the productivity of the steel industry and increases the cost of doing business. In the light of these emerging opportunities and challenges, there are three key imperatives for the Indian steel industry:
Ensure Resource Availability: Adequate supplies of critical raw materials such as iron ore and coal at competitive prices, need to be attained.
Develop Global Competitiveness: Develop technological and operational capabilities to compete in the global marketplace.
Attain Local Efficiencies: Debottleneck the infrastructure space, understand consumption patterns, continue focus on product innovation and reduce the environmental footprint of the steel industry
and its customers.Bajaj Allianz , Birla Sun Life Insurance and L&T Insurance were the sponsors of the conference.
Jindal Steel & Power, NMDC, Vizag Steel, Dasturco, Essar Steel, JSW Steel, Arcelor Mittal and Tata Steel where the sponsors of the event.
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