Union Steel Minister deliberates on strategic alternatives for raw material security and innovative usage of steel in construction during his Canada Visit
New Delhi, July 19, 2017
Ashadha 28, Saka 1939
The Union Steel Minister Shri Birender Singh led a delegation comprising senior officials from Ministry of Steel and its PSUs to Canada earlier this month.
The Minister had extensive interaction with the Natural Resource Minister, Government of Canada, Mr. James Carr. The issues discussed included the growth of steel industry in India and the strategic importance of Canadian coking coal for the Indian steelmakers, collaborations in the area of environmental friendly mining, coal beneficiation and R&D. Imports of Canadian coking coal by India are projected to increase in the future keeping pace with the increase in steelmaking capacity in India.
It is noteworthy that as per the production targets in National Steel Policy 2017, the coking coal requirement is projected to increase from the current level of around 60 million tons per annum to 160 million tons per annum. Although various measures are being taken to increase the supply of indigenous coking coal, India’s dependence on imported coking coal would continue. In such a scenario, multiple options for sourcing coking coal imports would lead to cost advantage and choice.
Another highlight of the visit was wide-ranging deliberations with representatives of Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC). It is a unique institute, which proclaims itself to be Canada’s voice for the steel construction industry. Shri Birender Singh expressed keen interest in the working and structure of the institute with the objective of exploring the possibility of setting up a similar institute in India. The CISC promotes dialogue, collaboration and commerce between industry stakeholders – advancing the benefits of steel to the consulting community, builders and buyers, academia and government. The CISC represents a diverse community of steel manufacturers, fabricators and constructors, engineers and architects, owners and developers, and educators and students, offering a wide span of products and services to enhance capabilities and grow businesses.
The delegation held a joint meeting in Toronto, with various steel related Canadian institutions and industry representatives for deliberating on issues of mutual interest. The topics covered included efficient mining and logistics managements, enhancing steel intensity of the Indian economy, R&D in steelmaking and promotion of steel as a preferred material for construction. The conference was very well attended by the representatives from institutes, Canadian Steel Producers Association, Coal Association of Canada and representatives from leading Canadian industries like Teck Resources, ArcelorMittal, etc.
Earlier, the delegation visited a coking coalmine in the State of British Columbia and witnessed its operations. Canada annually exports about 30 million tonnes of coking coal out of which Indian steel companies purchase around 3 million tonne.