The 14th Coaltrans India Conference was held today in New Delhi. Prominent industry leaders from the coal and coke, steel, mining, finance and other key sectors participated in the programme. Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhu graced the occasion as the Chief Guest of the opening session. Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Coal, Mr. Anil Swarup also interacted with the delegates on the occasion.
Chairman, SAIL, Mr. C.S. Verma while interacting with the delegates at the event said that steel is integral to the growth of any economy and is one of the indices for assessing the economic development of a nation. He added that the demand elasticity of steel is more than 1 for most developing countries which implies that if a GDP growth of 8 to 10% is to be achieved, steel industry would need to grow higher than that percentage. Elaborating about the steel industry he said that steel sector contributes nearly 2% of India’s GDP. He further highlighted that Indian steel industry has grown at a handsome pace of 10% CAGR since 2000 and the per capita consumption of steel has increased from 29 kg to 58 kg in the same period.
Speaking enthusiastically about the budget Mr. Verma said that under intense expectations, a budget had been presented that addresses crucial areas of the economy and planned for building capacities as well as capabilities. He described the thrust on infrastructure sector initiatives as heartening and said that they would both spur the domestic demand and ease the supply side constraints. Mr. Verma described the proposed, low and stable corporate tax regime as a welcome measure which will improve business sentiments and rejuvenate the corporate sector
Expressing confidence in the growth trajectory taken by the country he stated that under the ‘Make in India’ campaign India’s crude steel manufacturing capacity will increase to 300 MTPA under the Indian Steel Vision. He also elaborated on how Govt. of India’s initiative of auctioning coking coal blocks would improve the availability of coking coal in the country. He touched upon areas like adoption of better Coal Mining and Beneficiation technologies and development of appropriate logistics for metallurgical coal supply chain.
Identifying technological improvements as the means for achieving sustainable growth, Mr. Verma added that the Indian steel industry will have to adopt a multipronged strategy to bring in coal securitization by improving thermal efficiencies of blast furnaces, use cheaper non-coking coal through Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI) and utilize higher quantities of non-coking/semi coking coals for producing coke. He described coal gasification for production of SYN gas to manufacture Directly Reduced Iron (DRI), Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) for underground conversion of coal deposits into SYN gas and introduction of alternate iron making technologies like FINEX, ITmK3 and hydrogen steel making as the way forward for the Indian steel industry.
Chairman, SAIL Mr. C.S. Verma (seated on the right) interacting at the 14th Coal trans India Conference
Hon'ble Railway Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu (first from left) along with Chairman SAIL, Mr. C.S. Verma (second from left) at the Coaltrans India Conference.