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Iron and steel is one of the important industries is in India. The Indian steel industry has grown in leaps and bounds since the first ever steel plant became operational in the country in 1912. This article gives insights on a list of major steel plants in India, upcoming projects and interesting facts about steel plants. To begin with, it explains what a steel plant is.
What is a steel plant?
A steel plant or steel mill is a factory where the steelmaking process is carried out. There are mainly two kinds of steel mills – integrated and mini steel plants.
According to the latest data presented by PIB, there are more than 900 steel plants in India that produce crude steel. These are owned by PSUs, large-scale companies as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In the year 2021-22, the total capacity of these plants stood at 154.06 million tonnes.
Indian steel plants are mostly located in clusters. Bhilai, Bokaro, Rourkela and Vizag, are some of the prominent clusters of steel plants in India.
State-wise list of steel plants in India
Here is a list of major steel plants in India.
- Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited), Visakhapatnam (Vizag), Andhra Pradesh
- Bhilai Steel Plant (SAIL), Bhilai, Chhattisgarh
- Jindal Steel and Power’s plant, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh
- Essar Steel India Limited (ArcelorMittal), Hazira, Gujarat
- Monnet Ispat & Energy (JSW Ispat Special Products Limited), Raigarh, Chhattisgarh
- Nagarnar Steel Plant (National Mineral Development Corporation), Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh
- Bokaro Steel Plant (SAIL), Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand
- Tata Steel’s plant, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand
- Electrosteel Limited (Vedanta Resources), Bokaro, Jharkhand
- MECON’s steel plant, Ranchi, Jharkhand
- JSW Steel’s plant, Hospet, Bellary, Karnataka
- Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (SAIL), Bhadravati, Karnataka
- Chandrapur Ferro Alloy Plant (SAIL) Chandrapur, Maharashtra
- JSW Steel’s plant, Tarapur, Boisar, Maharashtra
- JSW Steel’s plant, Dolvi, Dharamtar, Maharashtra
- JSL Stainless’ plant (Jindal Stainless Limited), Jajpur, Odisha
- Jindal Steel and Power’s plant (Jindal Steel and Power), Angul, Odisha
- JSW Bhushan Power & Steel (JSW Steel), Sambalpur, Odisha
- Neelachal Ispat Nigam (Tata Steel), Kalinganagar, Odisha
- Tata Steel plant, Kalinganagar, Odisha
- Tata Steel plant, Meramandali, Dhenkanal, Odisha
- Rourkela Steel Plant (SAIL), Rourkela, Odisha
- VISA Steel’ plant, Kalinganagar, Odisha
- Salem Steel Plant (SAIL), Salem, Tamil Nadu
- Ankur Industries Integrated Steel Plant (Ankur Udyog), Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
- Alloy Steel Plant (SAIL), Durgapur, West Bengal
- Durgapur Steel Plant (SAIL), Durgapur, West Bengal
- IISCO Steel Plant (SAIL), Asansol, West Bengal
Upcoming steel plants in India
- JSW Group has invested about ₹150 crore to set up a steel plant in Jammu and Kashmir (Pulwama). A manufacturing facility with a capacity of 1.2 lakh metric tonnes will mainly produce colour-coated steel.
- Tata Steel plans to set up a steel scrap based electric furnace steel plant in Punjab.
A few interesting facts about steel plants in India
- According to IBEF, states having the highest steel producing capacity are Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Karnataka.
- Most of the steel plants in India are located inland. Vizag is the only place with a steel plant that is located on shore.
- The first steel plant in India was established at Jamshedpur, Jharkhand by Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) now known as Tata Steel. The plant began operations in 1912. Today, it is one of the largest steel plants in the country with a production capacity of around 10 million tonnes per year.
- Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) supplied 30,000 tonnes of DMR grade speciality steel for India’s first indigenously built Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant in 2022.
What are the favourable factors for steel plants in India?
The steel sector in India is scaling and there are several factors contributing to its growth. There are more initiatives taken by the government, availability of raw materials, even relaxations offered on export of Indian steel – all of which makes iron and steel production one of the largest industries in the country.
- Availability of iron ore: According to IBEF, India has the fifth-highest iron ore reserves in the world. Iron ore is one of the key raw materials for producing steel and its availability within the country is one of the key favourable factors for steel plants.
- Easy labour availability: Labour in India is available at a cheaper cost if compared to other countries. Therefore, it gives a cost advantage to the steel plants.
- PLI Scheme: Government of India has launched production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for speciality steel. About 57 companies have signed MoUs with the government under this PLI scheme.
- Other favourable policies: The central government has also established favourable policies such as National Steel Policy 2017, Steel Scrap Recycling Policy, 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) for creating a conducive environment. Moreover, other upcoming policies for other sectors such as vehicle scrappage policy, etc., are expected to have a positive impact on the steel plants.
- Allocation of funds: The government of India has allocated funds worth ₹70.15 crore for the Ministry of Steel, under the Union Budget 2023-24.
- IS code: Indian standard (IS) Code for steel and steel products is established that covers nearly 145 steel and steel products.
Challenges faced by the steel plants in India
Though the steel sector outlook in India is positive, it is not without its challenges. Logistics is a recurring cost, considering the location of the steel plants. Availability of affordable labour and adoption of technology continue to add to the plant’s list of obstacles.
Here are some of the common challenges faced by the Indian steel plants.
- Availability of coking coal: Coking coal is also a key raw material for the steel industry. The steel plants rely on imports mainly from Australia for sourcing coking coal. The supply chain of coking coal remains disrupted due to multiple reasons, which adversely impact the productivity of steel plants.
- Fluctuating steel prices: Steel prices in India vary frequently. This further impacts the profit margins of steel plants.
- Technology adoption: This is another challenge for steel plants. Large companies in the sector may have already adopted digitisation, which helps them with various parameters such as demand prediction, productivity, sustainability efforts, and so on.
- Push towards decarbnosation: With increasing environmental concerns, the steel plants need to adopt technologies like environment management systems. This will help them to monitor carbon emissions and take corrective measures. However, additional investment needs to be done.
- Other challenges: Apart from the challenges mentioned above, there are other challenges the steel industry faces such as logistics related challenges, supply chain issues, and so on.