A Major Global Steel Manufacturing And Design Hub
In June 2021, the Indian Institute of Metals held a virtual event, jointly with the Indian Ministry of Steel. The focus of the event was to promote Eastern India as a manufacturing hub. The key topics that were discussed included the establishment of Innovation cum Manufacturing Clusters, Design and Product Development and Customer needs.
Similar events held in different steel-producing states of India have had the same theme. For example, Chintan Shivir - an idea generation event involved 900+ representatives from across the Steel sector.
Even before the present slew of activities in this sector, the Government of India helped to establish an innovative institutional mechanism called SRTMI to promote joint collaborative research projects of national importance in the iron & steel sector. Funded by major steel companies, SRTMI interacts with steel manufacturers, research labs & academia to drive research in iron & steel.
As the world’s second largest producer of cruse steel, it is but natural that Government and private sector will come together to hone India’s domestic capabilities, so as to emerge as a global player in not just steel production, but as a hub for quality and design as well.
Make in India
The Government’s Make in India initiative is the nucleus of this activity. Now that Indian steel has been brought under the stringent ambit of the BIS certification scheme, with mandatory Quality Control Orders which prohibit, import, sale and distribution of substandard steel products, Indian steel is comparable with many of the most reputed steels of the world.
The growth of India’s steel sector has been driven by domestic availability of raw materials such as iron ore, limestone and access to cost-effective, skilled labour. India’s strong logistics capabilities have also been critical to this sector’s growth.
With several inherent advantages such as durability, tensile strength, faster completion time, reduced environmental impact, and creation of a circular economy, steel will play a relevant role in India’s vision of becoming a US$5tn economy.
Catapulting the demand for steel
Several Government of India initiatives and programs are playing a key role in catapulting India’s steel industry further into the limelight. Schemes such as Smart Cities, Sagarmala Project, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Piped Water for All, Housing for All, Jal Jeevan Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Metro Networks, UDAAN, and Bharatmala are just some of GoI’s projects that foretell excellent prospects for India’s steel industry.
In addition to these, steel intensive projects such as Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs), railway projects such as suburban railway and bullet train, airports, electronic vehicles (FLAME), defence manufacturing, irrigation and renewable energy are sure to boost the domestic demand for steel.
Integrated Steel Manufacturing Hubs
Globally, steel manufacturing hubs have been at the epicentre of development of the steel industry in the respective countries. Gwangyang Bay in Korea, Guangdong Province in China and Ruhr region in Germany are examples. These hubs are integrated zones with facilities that enable swift capacity addition and cost competitiveness. Along the same lines, India is proposing to develop Integrated Steel Hubs, using encumbrance free land. The hubs will be linked with availability of raw material, logistics support and/or proximity to demand centres
A shining future
An industry that has grown, in a systematic way to emerge as the world’s second largest producer of steel, the Indian steel sector is poised for remarkable growth. The National Steel Policy 2017 (NSP) has specified key imperatives to ensure that the country’s steel sector will be equipped to service its growing requirements while simultaneously promoting sustainable growth for the sector.
As per the National Steel Policy 2017, the government has put in place effective mechanisms to ramp up the country's crude steel production output to 300 million tonnes (MT) by 2030. The policy aims to increase the domestic per capita steel consumption to 160 kg by 2030. Resurgent India, with its thrust on infrastructure, Urban and Rural Development is gearing up to see this vision turn into a reality.