New Delhi : The Minister of State for Steel & Rural Development, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste has said that out of the two critical raw materials Iron Ore and coking coal required for producing steel by BF-BOF route, India is self-sufficient in Iron Ore whereas our country imported about 57 million tonnes of coking coal in Fy’22 for meeting needs of BF-BOF segments of steel industry for producing part of 120 million tonnes of steel.
While addressing at conference on “Metallurgical Coal, Coke and Blast Furnace” organized by Metalogic PMS here today, the Minister said that the country’s development mining and washing technologies for coking coal have not kept pace with the needs of the Steel Industry. He further said that in view of low indigenous availability of coking coal, the volume of imports of coking coal will continue to grow as the country’s steel production capacity is targeted to reach 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
It is imperative that all concerned agencies focus on maximizing domestic production by adopting latest technologies. He stated that the country has a resource of about 34 billion tonnes of coking coal, of which about 18 billion tonnes have already been proven, the development of technology for mining and washing can make the country self-reliant besides ushering in the huge employment opportunities and accelerating the process of development of urban, semi urban and rural areas.
The Minister added that though India is producing more than 51 million tonnes of coking coal, its use as washed coking coal by the steel industry is very limited due to low production in existing coal washeries on account of technical constraints due to high ash content and most of the this coking coal is diverted for use by power plants. Since the ash content in coking coal is having a direct impact on the consumption as well as performance of the blast furnace, we need to upgrade the technology.
The investment in development of indigenous coking coal mining and washing technologies for meeting the rising needs of steel for the country is the need of the hour as India is one of the fastest growing economies and there is continuous investments in sectors like infrastructure, infrastructure, machinery, railways ,housing and many more.
The National Steel Policy 2017 envisages a globally competitive Indian steel industry in compliance with world best practices on environment and sustainability. The Minister added that we need to remember that Steel by far is the most important, multifunctional and most adaptable material.
Along with development, challenges of environmental sustainability also remain and therefore, solutions and initiatives towards decarbonisation and environmental management will be the key factors for the initiatives that will drive the industry forward. He advocated strong partnership between industry-research institutes and academia can help in this direction.
Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste advised that all stakeholders have a twin responsibility of developing appropriate technologies for exploiting domestic reserves of coking coal and at the same time, it is important to focus on resource efficiency, reducing the burden on nature by ensuring the effective resource utilization for a sustainable economy and thus minimizing carbon emission. The Minister also assured that Ministry of Steel would extend the necessary assistance to the industry in this endeavour.