Union Steel Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday hinted that the government may make it mandatory for steelmakers to devote a part of their capacity to green steel manufacturing in the future.
"In the near future, the government of the day may contemplate looking at putting in place processes for steel producers of the nation to dedicate a percentage of their production to making green steel," Scindia said in a video message at the India Steel 2023 event here.
The government may also look at ways to ensure greater usage of the green steel in government projects as well, he added.
Green steel refers to the production of steel without relying on any fossil fuels. It can be noted that the world over, the focus is on having processes that have the least impact on the environment and a sector like steel, while being essential, is among the most energy-intensive ones.
Scindia said the private sector steel users in India are actually moving towards committing to more and more green steel in their projects and also noted that some manufacturers have already launched branded green steel products.
The minister said breakthrough technologies and disruptive innovations like hydrogen-based steelmaking coupled with carbon capture, utilisation and store (CCUS) hold huge promise for the future.
He said India has emerged as the epicentre for the evolution and growth of the steel sector globally and has been able to achieve landmarks like production touching 125 million tonnes and consumption growing over 11 per cent in the last nine years.
In 2022, even as the global finished steel production declined by 4.2 per cent, India could post a 6 per cent growth, he said, adding that the per capita steel consumption has now increased to 78 kgs from 57 kgs in 2014.
The overall growth has made investors interested in the sector and the government in March, signed 57 pacts with 27 companies under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which will add 25 million tonnes to the steel capacity, he said. The capacity addition will see investments of Rs 30,000 crore and also create 60,000 jobs, he added.
The steel ministry is in the process of aligning its policy with the Gatishakti Masterplan of the government, under which investments of Rs 100 lakh crore are envisaged to improve infrastructure, Scindia said.
Steel secretary Nagendra Nath Sinha said there is a need to increase the spending on research and development by the industry, and also for diversifying in various items of steelmaking and grades of steelmaking.
Speaking at the same event, the chairperson of the Steel Authority of India, Soma Mandal said the industry needs to be resource-efficient and environment-friendly.