The Indian steel sector, one of the core industries in the country, is about a century old, with Tata Iron & Steel Co (Tata Steel) being the first integrated steel plant to be established in 1907. India is currently the world's fourth largest producer of crude steel and is expected to move ahead of its competitors (the US and Japan) in a couple of years.
Steel industry mainly derives its demand from other sectors like infrastructure, aviation, engineering, construction, automobile, pipes and tubes etc. Thus its intense integration with other important segments makes it a strategic focus area for the Government as well.
India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) anticipates that growth in Indian steel sector will gain momentum in 2014 on the back of growth in other economic segments. The World Steel Association (WSA) projects that local steel demand in India would increase by 5.9 per cent and 7 per cent in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Latest figures by WSA has revealed that India's steel production increased by 0.9 per cent to 6.45 million tonne (MT) in June 2013, as against 6.39 MT in June 2012. Moreover, the data showed that India fared better than rest of the world in terms of average output for the first six months of 2013.
India’s steel production grew by 2.5 per cent to 39.63 MT in the six month period January-June 2013 as against 38.68 MT in the same period in 2012. During the same period, world crude steel production was 789.8 MT, recording an increase of 2 per cent.
- Ahmadabad-based equipment-maker for steel industry Electrotherm (India) has launched an advanced induction furnace unit that facilitates simultaneous dephosphorisation and desulphrisation. Dephosphorisation and desulphrisation are crucial steps in steel-making as high content of phosphorus and sulphur makes steel very brittle.
The new product, EldFOS, will enable secondary steel manufacturers comply with the new rules and international standards. The company has also filed for a patent right on the product.
- Meanwhile, Tata Steel has set up a new subsidiary, Tata Steel Odisha, to handle its Greenfield- 6 MT-steel plant in Odisha. The project will be executed in two phases of 3 MT each. Tata Steel arranged for about Rs 22,800 crore (US$ 3.84 billion) of the projects’ financing through a consortium of 21 banks and financial institutions.
- The Afghanistan Iron & Steel company (Afisco), a consortium of Indian steel companies led by Steel Authority of India (SAIL), that won the bid to mine three iron ore blocks in Afghanistan's remote Hajigak region, intends to complete the prospecting job within 18 months of starting work in the area. The consortium includes JSW Steel, Monnet Ispat, JSPL, NMDC and RINL and is determined to invest initially decided-upon US$ 75 million for taking up the prospecting activity in the area. The initial investment by each member will be proportionate to their shareholding in the project.
- Tata Steel has, via its UK subsidiary, secured a long-term contract to supply aerospace steels to Safran Group, the maker of aircraft, rocket engines, aircraft equipment and propulsion systems.
The five-year agreement has an initial value of Rs 82 crore (US$ 13.8 million) and outlines Tata Steel’s responsibility for supplying all aspects of Safran’s aircraft-quality steel requirements worldwide, including re-melted steels, directly to Safran Group companies and to its subcontractors as well.
- Arcelor Mittal, the global steel giant, has been given 2, 000 acres of land in Bellary district by the Karnataka Government to set up a 6 MT per annum (MTPA) plant. The company has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State Government to set up the plant at an investment of Rs 30,000 crore (US$ 5.05 billion).
- Gulf Ispat Limited has decided to set up a Rs 3,500 crore (US$ 589.47 million)-integrated-steel plant in Madhya Pradesh, while Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) will set up a Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 168.44 million)-beneficiation plant in Andhra Pradesh.