Govt to roll out red carpet to foreign players for steel projects in India

The government will roll out a red carpet to big foreign players who want to set up greenfield steel projects and the country's steel manufacturing capacity is expected to rise to 150 million tonnes by 2020, according to a senior official.

Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said the sector provides huge growth potential against the backdrop of the country becoming the world's second largest alloy producer with increasing consumption.

Stating that there had been some issues with greenfield projects earlier, Sharma said that now there is a good scope for setting up such projects.

"Learning from the past, the land bank issues have also been taken care of now. If anybody wants to set up large units, we will roll out a red carpet for them," Sharma told PTI.

No foreign player has yet applied for any greenfield project but such players are watching the market, she added.

Foreign players like Posco, ArcelorMittal and Thyssenkrupp have presence in the country. Posco and Thyssenkrupp have set up units in Maharashtra to make value-added auto steel products, but they have not gone for back-end steel manufacturing.

ArcelorMittal has a joint venture with the state-owned steel maker SAIL for auto steel.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event here last week, Sharma said, "we are sure that our steel manufacturing capacity will increase from the present 134 million to 150 million by 2020".

About anti-dumping issue, Sharma said the measures are just to ensure that nobody starts dumping steel at less than their cost of production.

"Even if the cost of production in China is much more than our safeguard value, it only ensures that steel from China does not come here for lesser than that cost and anti-dumping duty is absolutely WTO compliant," the Steel Secretary said.

She also urged the industry to adopt new technology to reduce the use of coking coal in the production of steel.

"We have to adopt a new technology to reduce use of coking coal in steel making as India and most of Asian countries minus China do not have much coking coal reserves," she added.

Various options, including use of scrap for steel production, are being looked at.

"We import 7 million tonne scrap to make steel now. So there is an immediate market of 7 million tonne," she said, adding that the government would come out with a new scrap policy this year.


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