Steel Industry Experts Discuss Tech Trends and Challenges at ICONS-2024

Nagendra Nath Sinh stressed the need to find out innovative ways of timely executing projects for keeping steel projects healthy and for their long-term sustainability….reports Asian Lite News

In order to strengthen India’s domestic manufacturing of capital goods there is a need to explore strategies like technology transfer or an international technology provider to produce machinery for setting up steel plants, according to experts at the International Conference on Steel (ICONS-2024) which kicked off here on Thursday.

The conference organised by public sector steel giant SAIL and engineering services provider MECON Ltd under the aegis of the Steel Ministry, is focussing on ways to give a big push to the manufacture of capital goods or machinery for steel plants.

Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Nagendra Nath Sinha, said: “New ways of working, new ideas and new talents need to be inducted to give a boost to the heavy industry sector in India.”

He also said that today, meticulous project planning and timely execution have become one of the biggest challenges for the steel projects being set up in India.

He stressed the need to find out innovative ways of timely executing projects for keeping steel projects healthy and for their long-term sustainability.

Abhijit Narendra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel said that although India is the second-largest producer of steel in the world, it has limitations in making machinery for the steel industry.

He stressed the need to create an ecosystem containing all the stakeholders.

MECON chairman Sanjay Kumar Verma pointed out that national steel policy had set a target to reach 300 million tonnes (MT) of steel capacity for which about 138-139 MT of new capacity is estimated to be added in the next 7-8 years involving a huge investment of $120-130 billion from the Indian steel industry.

“There will be a likely import of about 15-20 per cent of steel plant equipment from foreign countries. Given the current situation, where the import content and value rises as we move up the value chain, about $18-20 billion worth of imported equipment is likely to be sourced from abroad besides spares worth $400-500 million,” he said.

SAIL chairman Amarendu Prakash said that considering the volatility in the world, India needs to focus on supply chain security since securing supply chains is becoming more and more difficult. He emphasized on the development of a comprehensive and sustainable eco-system for the production of indigenized capital goods.

NMDC chairman Amitava Mukherjee, mentioned that India is the fifth largest economy with a dominant services sector.

The country’s manufacturing sector needs to grow substantially and areas should be identified categorically. Constant interaction is needed between technology providers and technology buyer to educate each other on the possibilities and requirement for the future, he added.

The first day of the two-day conference also covered four technical sessions which included trends and challenges in coke-making technology used in steel plants, agglomeration technology as well as iron and steel-making technologies.

Senior representatives from manufacturing companies, iron and steel producers, equipment suppliers, engineering and consultancy companies also attended the conference.

The objective of the conference is to bring together the brightest minds and leading stakeholders from across the steel industry, including technology providers, steel producers, manufacturers, academia and more to foster new partnerships, explore innovative solutions and to drive forward the future of steel industry.

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