India targets 500 million tonnes per annum addition to steel capacity by 2047

Assured about reaching the targeted 300 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) crude steel production capacity by 2030-31, from about 140 mtpa at present, the steel ministry is now preparing a Vision 2047 document under which it intends to jack up capacity further to 500 mtpa.

The 300-mtpa production capacity was set out under the National Steel Policy (NSP), unveiled in 2017. The Vision 2047 document is under formulation now in consultation with the stakeholders. Details of the document will be unfolded later.

“Definitely we will be able to meet the 300 mtpa target by 2030-31,” steel minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh said on Sunday. The minister expects the share of the secondary steel producers under the larger plan will continue to remain 40%, going forward.

From a mere 17-mtpa capacity in 1991, India’s steelmaking capacity reached around 80 mtpa by 2014. India is the now the second largest steel producer in the world after China, though the production gap between the two countries was high. Stating that the 500-mtpa capacity enhancement target by 2047 was also quite achievable, the minister said it required a lot of policy support and needed to draw a lot of strategy to make that happen.

The role of the ministry will be that of an enabler and it will extend all kind of required policy support to the industry to actualise the target.

While India has abundant iron ore, one of the key raw materials for steelmaking, it mostly relies on imports of coking coal to fire blast furnaces. The minister said alternative sources of energy should be developed. “Our target is not just meeting the domestic demand from the domestic sources, we also want to export in a big way as well,” Singh said.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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