Officials in India have long talked of achieving a target of producing 300 million tons per annum (mtpa) of steel by 2025, and now an official Steel Policy put in place by the new government will try to get there.
The announcement that the government is working on the policy was made by Steel Minister Vishnu Deo Sai at a recent conference in New Delhi.
Critics had earlier said this was an “impossible” target, given the fact that India currently makes about 82 mtpa of finished steel.
The minister, however, told the audience at the conference that the new policy would focus especially on capacity addition and address issues related to raw material security, environmental challenges and land acquisition. Steel Summit 2014 was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a representative body of industries in India.
Raw material is something that the minister and his team should be tracking in order to achieve the 2025 goal. News agency Reuters reports in The First Post that India, formerly the world’s number 3 exporter of iron ore, may turn into a big importer soon due to a cutback in domestic production.
The report said the country may ship in up to 45 million tons over the next three years as domestic ore output would fall short of steel production needs.
India imported just 0.37 million tons of the raw material in the last fiscal year according to government records, but this year, steel companies were set to import much more.
That was precisely the point touched upon at the Steel Summit by C.S. Verma, Chairman, CII National Committee on Steel. In his opening remarks, he said various challenges were keeping India’s steel industry from realizing its potential, including the unavailability of raw materials and the high cost of logistics.
The author, Sohrab Darabshaw, contributes an Indian perspective on industrial metals markets to MetalMiner.