Union Minister of State for Steel & Rural Development Faggan Singh Kulaste urged the industry to focus on investment in rural areas to enhance steel production and consumption in India at the summit organized by CII on “Vision 2047: Towards a Globally Competitive and Sustainable Steel Industry” in New Delhi today.
He emphasized on increasing rural steel consumption to act as a catalyst in achieving domestic demand and production target of 300 million tonnes in line with NSP-2017. The Minister also exhorted the industry to pursue self-reliance in production of capital goods in the country and to arrive at a consensus amongst themselves to devise a suitable strategy towards decarbonization for becoming a sustainable steel industry.
Kulaste said that there is great scope to increase steel consumption in India as rural per capita consumption of steel is only 21 kg per capita which is about a third of the national average of 77 kg.
The Minister stated that the Ministry of Steel has taken initiative from time to time to bring all the stakeholders on a single platform to spur the development of Capital Goods Sector in the country. India needs a thriving capital goods industry to be competitive to provide steel at an affordable price to the consumer and to become an export hub. The important element of this strategy of reliance in capital goods would be to encourage the Indian scientists to work on research, development, and production of capital goods.
Kulaste mentioned that decarbonization of Steel Sector has assumed a great urgency in view of global concerns to reduce emission to net zero. India emits on an average 2.55 tonnes of carbon dioxide gas per tonne of crude steel produced, while the global average carbon emission per tonne of crude steel produced is 1.8 tonnes. There has been lot of discussion that usage of green hydrogen in steel production will be an enabler towards the objective of decarbonization of the sector. Indian Steel Industry needs to work together to come to an adaptable solution to continue to maintain their edge globally in steel production. The Minister lauded the Sarloha, Kalyani Group for commencing operation of Electric Arc Furnace for steel production using solar energy, in which fossil fuel is not being used.
The Minister advised the industry that they should come out with implementable suggestions out of the day long deliberation for the consideration of the government.