Odisha has potential to produce 100 MT steel: Union Minister

Bhubaneswar: Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh today said mineral rich Odisha is capable of producing 100 million tonne of steel to enable the country to achieve the goal of churning out 300 mt by 2030.

“Odisha is rich in minerals and mines and has a potential to produce 100 million tonnes of steel out of 300 million tonne envisaged in National Steel Policy by 2030-31,” Singh said during a visit to Kalinganagar industrial area in Odisha’s Jajpur district.

Describing Odisha as a major steel producing state, contributing more than half of steel production in India, the Union Steel Minister said enhanced production from Kalinganagar and Odisha is important to achieve the common objective of producing 300 million tonne steel by 2030.

Kalinganagar is a major industrial hub. Around 15 steel plants are located in this region which include public sector plants like Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) and private plants like TATA Steel, Jindal Stainless Ltd, Visa Steel and MESCO, he said.

Singh expressed the hope that Kalinganagar builds potential to develop downstream facilities which include ferro alloy plants, duct iron pipes, steel furniture, power component manufacturing as well as stainless steel units.

The minister, who interacted with MDs/CEOs of major steel units, said India has become the second largest producing nation in 2018. In 2017-18, India has produced more than 100 million tonne of steel, he said.

Noting that Indian steel industry has come out of the difficulties faced during 2014-15 and 2015-16 due to various policy interventions by the government, Singh said National Steel Policy was notified during 2017 giving direction and fillip to the domestic industry.

Representatives of steel manufacturers spoke about iron ore availability. Industry representatives also mentioned about increased need for utilising iron ore fines for pellet manufacturing so that precious iron ore can be preserved, an official statement said.

The minister discussed in detail the challenges to the growth of Indian steel industry, such as logistics in terms of development of ports and increasing capacity of railways, creating dedicated freight corridors to move raw materials as well as finished goods, it said.

The Union Steel Minister expressed confidence that both the Central government and state government together will find solutions at policy and operational level to achieve higher level of production in Odisha.