New Delhi: The Centre will unveil the much-awaited steel scrap policy in a week to make the sector cost-effective, boost domestic production and reduce dependence on imports.
The Union Cabinet is scheduled to consider the steel scrap policy later next week. The policy will outline norms for quality steel scrap, derived mostly from old vehicles that can be recycled to boost domestic steel output and reduce imports.
Union steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh told Financial Chronicle, “As six million tonnes scrap is currently imported every year, our policy is ready for it. It’s the policy decision of government for which we have sent our proposal to the Cabinet and waiting for the approval”.
“Next 25 days are very crucial time for the government… I think it (the policy) will come very soon, maybe this week,” Singh added.
The government will set up at least two plants that will recycle steel scrap to begin with. One scrap plant may be located either in Haryana or Punjab in the northern region. The second plant could be located either in Gujarat or Maharashtra on the west coast.
“Scrap-based steel plants are environment-friendly, energy-efficient and cost effective,” Singh said, adding that these plants would be on the lines of melt and manufacture steel technology used in the US.
“I would like you to deliberate on the cost-benefit analysis of setting up scrap-based steel plants in north and western India. These regions are important from the perspective of scrap-availability and steel import hubs. The plants will have the capability to produce special high-grade steel, a pre-requisite for ‘Make in India Steel’,” Birender Singh said.
“Availability of scrap is the highest in north India that constitutes about 40 per cent of total scrap,” Singh added.
“As there is always a question, where does this scrap come from? Around 70 per cent scrap comes from western coast and rest in northern parts of the country. So, we will prefer to start initially with 1.5-3.0 million tonnes scrap steel plants in northern and western parts of India,” Singh said.
Currently, India’s demand for scrap is around 8.3 million tonne and a large chunk of this met through imports. However, the minister said, “India imports around six million tonnes of scrap steel every year and is the second-largest importer of scrap after Turkey, adding that by 2025, the country will be able to generate 7.5 million tonne of scrap every year.”
New steel scrap policy is aimed at boosting per capita steel consumption that’s dismally low at 69 kilos as against global average of 214 kgs. Even with enhanced domestic output, per capita steel consumption is likely to go up to 160 kgs only by 2030.
Steel scrap policy being rolled out will give a big boost to targeted steel production in the country at 300 million tonnes in next 10 years as unveiled in the national steel policy of 2017....