Dr VK Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog, today said that government is supporting a climate-neutral; competitive steel production and enhancing processes, which will further facilitate the contribution of steel sector to the circular economy strategy.
Addressing the webinar on ‘By-Product Management for Indian Steel Industry: Ecosystem, Opportunities & Challenges’ organized by FICCI and SRTMI, Dr Saraswat said that NITI Aayog has been taking efforts to make steel slag production and utilisation a part of the circular economy. “The growing use of steel co-products will play a huge role in making India a USD 5 trillion economy. However, valorisation should not be done at the cost of sustainability,” he said.
Dr Saraswat further mentioned that the forecast for global demand for finished steel in 2021 is 1717.4 million tonnes with a growth rate of 3.8%. The government is following various technological pathways to reduce CO2 emissions of the steel industry.
“With huge amount of steel going to be produced, it is important to tackle climate change ensuring sustainable growth of the steel sector,” said Dr Saraswat. Elaborating further he said, the production of one tonne of steel results in 200 kg to 400 kg of residues which include sludge and other materials, and these residues contain a relevant fraction of iron and metal oxides.
He stated that the steel industry would benefit from partnership with other industry sectors along with the support from the government. “There should be strong legislative support for use of co-products and the development of new applications should be promoted,” said Dr Saraswat.
Rasika Chaube, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Government of India said that producing large quantity of steel means producing large quantities of by-products and this needs to be addressed. The entire slag generated can be utilized. She further mentioned that optimum utilization of slag can result in a reduction of CO2 emission to a great extent.
She further shared that Ministry of Steel has constituted a task force for utilization and promotion of steel slag in the sector and the government along with other stakeholders have ventured on various R&D initiatives.
Dr Mukesh Kumar, Director, SRTMI (under the aegis of Ministry of Steel), Govt of India said that world over, people are moving towards geopolymers. We can create an addition of Rs 100-150 crore revenue if India can go for zero waste and use of by-products.
V.R. Sharma, Co-Chair, FICCI Steel Committee & MD, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. said that the consumption of slag currently stands at 17%. Developed countries are converting slags into fertilizers and this is yet to be developed in India. Lightweight aggregate is the technology for tomorrow and the right solution for a country like India, he added.
Jayant Acharya, Co-Chair, FICCI Steel Committee & Director, JSW Steel Ltd said that the steel industry is unarguably a core industrial sector for India’s economic growth. “India is the second-largest producer and the third-largest steel consumer in the world. While the steel industry is making all the efforts via technological interventions, to reduce the by-product generation during steel making, still a sizeable quantity of such products is produced year on year, utilization of which needs to be promoted in various potential industries like road construction, rail ballast, agriculture, cement and others,” he said.
T.B. Singh, Executive Director (Projects), SAIL said that in the last 20 years, the use of by-products has increased significantly. However, there is no uniform legal definition of by-products, the use of which should be encouraged.
Pankaj Satija, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee; Senior Member, FICCI Steel Committee & Chief Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel concluded the Inaugural session, highlighting upon the importance of utilization of steel by-products for environment sustainability and delivered the vote of thanks.
Also present in the programme were the representatives from prospective user agencies, Dr B N Mohapatra, Director General, National Council for Cement and Building Materials, Mr R K Pandey, Member – Projects, National Highways Authority of India, Mr Subodh Jindal, Principal Executive Director (Geotech), RDSO among others.