'Steel sector to grow 10-12 pc this fiscal'

"The global economic slowdown did not have any impact in the country and the steel sector will not have any pressure for next 10 years due to the increasing domestic demand," Dalip Singh, a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Steel told reporters.
Singh was here to attend a seminar.

"We have produced 69.52 million tonnes of steel last fiscal and expect to achieve 10-12 per cent increase this fiscal," he said, adding that while production has witnessed 6-8 per cent growth, the demand stood at 10-12 per cent.

Singh said the steel ministry has spent Rs 150 crore on research and development and plans to increase the sum to Rs 500 crore in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

He further stated that brown field projects were progressing well, but the progress in green field projects was slow due to reasons like land acquisition and forest and environment department clearances.

On the ongoing expansion programmes of several steel plants including SAIL-owned Bokaro Steel Plant and Tata Steel in Jharkhand, he said SAIL's capacity would increase from 12 million tonnes to 21 million tonnes next year.

The capacity of Tata Steel's Jamshedpur plant would increase to 10 million tonnes from 7.5 million tonnes, while RNIL would enhance capacity from three million tonnes to six million tonnes, he said.

On SAIL-Posco's upcoming project, he said the progress of the three million tonne per annum project was satisfactory and in final stage.

To a question, Singh said there was no dearth of iron ore in the country as India has 25 billion tonnes reserves including 13 billion tonnes mineable.

"However, we have shortage of quality coking coal, which we are producing less," he added.

The coking coal being produced in the country is 25-30 per cent of the requirement and the rest is being imported, he said while emphasising the need for adoption of new technology.

He added that the Coke Dry Quenching technology would help reduce energy consumption and carbon di-oxide emission.

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