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‘The Future is Low Carbon Steel’

Enhancing Steel intensity in Rural sector and move towards Green Steel” or “Low Carbon Steel” manufacturing will make India a Manufacturing Hub: Says Mr. Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State for Steel

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Enhancing Steel intensity in Rural segment of the society and move towards Green Steel” or “Low Carbon Steel” manufacturing will make India a Manufacturing Hub: said Mr Faggan Singh Kulaste, Hon’ble Minister of State for Steel and Rural Development, Govt. of India at the Inaugural Session of the Global Steel Summit 2021 organised by CII in association with Ministry of Steel.  While there is a good sign of increase of consumption in the rural India to 21.5 kg per capita for the year 2020-21 as compared to 19 KG per capita for the financial year 2019-20, this is far below the national average.  In order to increase the consumption of steel in rural areas, the rural people should be kept informed about the use of steel, its life cycle cost so that they will be attracted to use steel.

Government is working on a long action plan and accordingly policies are being prepared. According to the vision of National Steel Policy 2017 to increase steel production capacity in India to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31, per capita steel consumption to 160 KG, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many targets have been set. For this in the last two years, Ministry of Steel has organized several seminars, conferences, webinars with stakeholders such as Ministry of Railways, Petroleum, Urban Development, Rural Development to maintain and enhance the continuity of demand. Steel production will increase, and capacity expansion will happen only when demand increases. Under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, our government has set a target of outlay of more than 111 lakh crores in National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) by 2024-25, which will increase the demand for steel as well as reduce the cost of production of steel. The slurry pipeline will have an outlay of more than 25,000 crores. The process involved in installation of slurry pipeline has been simplified. This will make the transportation of iron ore pollution free and cheap.

The iron and steel sector are the largest single energy consumer and CO2 emitter in the industrial sector in India and hence mitigating climate change is the need of the hour for the steel industry to move towards “Green Steel” or “Low Carbon Steel” manufacturing in India. The Government is working on schemes like Coal Gasification, National Hydrogen Mission to reduce the dependence of steel industry on coke. This will not only reduce the dependence of the steel industry on coke but will also help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking at the Inaugural, Dr Edwin Basson, Director General, WorldSteel Association said it is possible for steel industry to support and meet the 1.5°C goal as set out in Paris in 2015.  This will happen in three phases. Phase 1 will initially need to rely on improved efficiency in making and using steel. Phase two, accelerating towards the end of this decade, will benefit from growing availability of scrap in China and other developing economies. This will allow for a larger portion of global production to rely on recycled scrap and so reduce the average CO2 intensity in the industry. In the third phase the focus will be on using hydrogen and new production methods to reduce the CO2 intensity of industry further.

Addressing the Summit, Mr Yoshihisa Kitano, President and CEO, JFE Steel Corporation said that for achieving the roadmap of carbon neutrality by 2050, we need to adopt multi-track approach to develop super-innovative technologies, focusing on carbon recycling blast furnace + CCU and hydrogen ironmaking (direct reduction)and maximize utilization of industry-leading electric arc furnace technology. He further emphasised the need to accelerate research and development for early establishment of new technologies

Speaking at the Summit, Ms Soma Mondal, Chairman, SAIL said India is well poised to become a global steel hub in coming times. With the steel industry increasing capacities and capabilities to meet projected demands, most steels – whether for commodity applications or high-end applications – are domestically available. With the recently announced PLI scheme, few gaps, which are mainly in speciality steel, are expected to be closed in few years. Enhanced availability of all types of steel shall open up new downstream and collateral industrial opportunities.  India is already among the top few countries in terms of renewable energy capacities and expanding at a rapid pace. Businesses across the globe will have the opportunity to balance their global carbon footprints through investments in India

While delivering the Welcome Address,Mr Seshagiri Rao, Chairman, CII National Committee on Steel and Jt. Managing Director and Group CFO, JSW Steel Ltd said Indian steel sector is becoming more vibrant, efficient, environment-friendly and globally competitive supported by the various policy measures taken by the Government and the entrepreneurial spirit of the industry. While Covid-19 has been an unprecedented health crisis globally, it has done some transformational changes like technology adoption by the industry for driving efficiencies, energy transition is another transformation change. There is a strong positive correlation between steel usage and a nation’s economic growth. In order to reach 300 MT of steel production by 2030-31 as charted out in the National Steel Policy 2017, production needs to grow at a CAGR of 7.2%.  This is achievable as India embarks on its next trajectory of growth fuelled by Government’s focus on building infrastructure for future, the steel consumption in the country is getting ambitious to see a quantum jump.

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