Pellet export from Karnataka: PMAI seeks govt support

"At present, Karnataka cannot export iron ore also. Pellets are made from iron ore. As per a Supreme Court ruling, pellets also cannot be exported," PMAI Secretary General Deepak Bhatnagar said.

Pellet Manufacturers' Association of India (PMAI) has sought government support to open up Karnataka's pellet industry, which at present can not export the product due to a court ruling.

Iron ore fines are agglomerated into pellets and then indurated using a furnace to create iron ore pellets. These are typically fed to a blast furnace or DRI (directly reduced iron) plant as part of the process to make steel.

"At present, Karnataka cannot export iron ore also. Pellets are made from iron ore. As per a Supreme Court ruling, pellets also cannot be exported," PMAI Secretary General Deepak Bhatnagar said.

He said PMAI requests the government to take immediate steps so that pellet exports can take place.

"Export will also help in getting foreign exchange," Bhatnagar said.

A meeting was also held earlier this month in the Ministry of Steel under the chairmanship of Joint Secretary Puneet Kansal in which pellet makers have put their case in front of the officer, he informed.

"We told him, there is sufficient iron ore in the state. Pellets made from the ore can also not be exported. So, we requested him to save the pellet makers, whose operations are in a limbo due to these ban. Pellets must be allowed to export...Pellets are requirement of the steel industry," Bhatnagar added.

According to PMAI, Karnataka currently has 7 pelletisation plants and if exports are not allowed, these units will face closure, resulting in heavy job loss.

While India has a pelletisation capacity of 85 million tonne per annum, majority of the plants are lying idle in want of domestic market demand. In FY18, only 10 million tonnes of pellets were exported, it said.

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Pellet export from Karnataka: PMAI seeks govt support

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