Mr A Sai Prathap minister of state for steel urged the conference of Indian industry to play a major role in coordinating best use of modern state of art technology in steel sector. The minister while speaking at the Steel Summit organized by the CII said that “The steel industry should reduce energy consumption from 6.2 giga calories per tonne to world average of 4.2 giga calories and if possible even lower. It should also reduce water consumption per tonne of steel produced by 50%, improve productivity five folds from present level of 50 kg per person, in next two decades and focus on usage of low grade iron ore, non-coking coal and reduction in emissions.”
Mr Prathap also urged the steel industry to collaborate with the government to create a Technology Fund which will open the doors towards a new generation in the Indian steel sector. The Minister said that development of human resources to meet the specific future needs of the steel sector is an important issue. When the steel capacity in the country is doubled, in the next five years, there would be a similar need for technical manpower. Creation of institutional arrangement to provide the Technologists, Skilled manpower and continuous updation of skill and knowledge is the need of the day.
Mr Atul Chaturvedi steel secretary said that the issue of land acquisition is a major challenge for new steel projects. But they can be addressed through proper rehabilitation measures. Deals for acquisition of natural resources like iron ore and coal assets overseas have to be concluded urgently. He said problems like energy, competitiveness and technology upgradation have to be looked at from larger perspective.
Addressing the gathering Mr SK Roongta chairman of Steel Authority of India Ltd outlined major challenges facing the sector. He said while technology upgradation, improving energy efficiency, increasing productivity and need for innovative R&R policy remain the biggest challenge, a large untapped rural market remains a big opportunity. He said the 11th plan proposal for 500 billion dollar expenditure on infrastructure will push up the demand for steel substantially.