IFAPA Conference witnesses overwhelming participation

Bhubaneswar: The International Ferroalloys Conference, organized by the Indian Ferroalloys Producers’ Association (IFAPA), was held with aplomb at the Oberoi, Gurugram, from September 5-7. The conference, organized to facilitate seamless interaction between industry insiders and to provide a wide podium for showcasing of ideas and products, witnessed overwhelming participation as well as exciting exchange of views by leading experts from the global steel and ferroalloys industry.

The event provided market participants an opportunity to assemble on one platform and share strategies for the future, not to mention network and interact with an eye on boosting business prospects. The objective of the conference was to chart the emerging trajectory of the Indian steel industry, and its ancillary, the ferroalloys industry as well as to gauge pricing trends, shifting global demand and supply situation and the roadblocks that are presently obstructing the continued growth of the ferroalloys industry.

In his welcome address, Union Steel Minister Chaudhry Birender Singh said that it was absolutely essential that the Indian ferroalloys industry is in a position to meet the supply needs of the Indian steel industry as capacity enhancement, according to the National Steel Policy 2017, is set to increase from 60 kg per capita consumption of steel at present to over 160 kg by 2030.

Advocating the use of Swadeshi steel, Singh said that for the sustainable growth of the steel industry and the Indian economy “the government is exploring various modern options like use of lightweight high performance steel, pre-fab steel structures, steel use in ROBs, flyovers, crash barriers on highways at a time which is most appropriate to showcase the immense advantages of use of steel in various applications.”

The minister further said that according to the National Steel Policy the government is giving preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products for procurement in projects led by the government. Major infrastructural projects announced by the government and the anticipated growth in the automobile and defence sectors will lead to increased demand, he said. The ferroalloys industry has to grow in sync with the growing steel industry.

In his address to delegates and participants at the conference, Manish Sarda, Chairman of IFAPA, said, “India exported 1.3 mt of ferroalloys last year, earning foreign exchange of Rs 8,900 crore. This is great news. But some perennial problems are dragging the industry and these need urgent attention. Over and above the pressing issue of raw materials security and rising input costs, higher power tariffs as compared to two global prices are a great problem in India, which is making the energy-intensive industry uncompetitive in the global market. The government needs to sort out these pressing problems.”

He further added: “The conference was organized with the objective of reaching a consensus on some of these problems and brainstorming by industry insiders and experts to hammer out some acceptable solutions to them. Hope we have succeeded in our purpose.”

The conference witnessed the participation of over 130 companies from India and abroad and hundreds of delegates.