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MOIL Limited, the largest producer of manganese ore in India, has recorded its best-ever performance for the month of July since its inception. The company produced 1.20 lakh tonnes of manganese ore in July 2023, registering a remarkable growth of 71% compared to the same period last year. This is the highest-ever July production achieved by MOIL in its history.

MOIL Limited has also recorded its best-ever sales of 0.94 lakh tonnes in July 2023, witnessing an impressive growth of 69% over the corresponding period last year. The sales performance reflects the strong demand for manganese ore in the domestic and international markets.

Union Minister for Steel and Civil Aviation, Sh. Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, inaugurated the Silica Reduction Plant at Steel Authority of India Limited's (SAIL) Bhilai Steel Plant's Dalli Mines today. The virtual inauguration ceremony was attended by several dignitaries including Union Minister of State for Steel Sh. Faggan Singh Kulaste, Member of Parliament from Kanker (Chhattisgarh) Sh. Mohan Mandavi, Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Sh. Nagendra Nath Sinha, Chairman of SAIL Sh. Amarendu Prakash, and other officials from the Steel Ministry and SAIL.

During his speech, Union Minister Sh. Jyotiraditya Scindia praised the strength of the Indian steel industry and its significant role in positioning India as a global economic powerhouse. He emphasized the industry's contribution to employment generation and the development of foundational infrastructure in the country.

The minister quoted the National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017, highlighting the government's aim to achieve a target of 300 million tonnes (MT) of crude steel production by 2030 under the guidance of the honorable Prime Minister. India currently holds the second position in global steel production, surpassing Japan in 2018. The country also leads the world in sponge iron production, and its crude steel capacity has grown by 46%, from 110 MT to 160 MT, in the last nine years.

Furthermore, the minister noted the government's focus on infrastructure development, resulting in increased steel consumption from 77 MT to 120 MT. Per capita steel consumption has also risen by 50% from 60 kg in 2014 to 87 kg. India has achieved the vision of Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance) by transitioning from being a net steel importer to a net exporter within the past nine years.

Sh. Jyotiraditya Scindia emphasized the emergence of the steel sector as a powerful force in India and acknowledged the crucial role played by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in this development. He stated that SAIL would play a prominent role in India's journey towards progress. During the inauguration, he highlighted the uniqueness of the plant, which possesses the capability to produce the world's longest single rail measuring 130 meters. Currently, the plant has a production capacity of 6 MT of crude steel per year, with plans to increase it to 6.8 MT in the near future.

The Bhilai Plant, established 64 years ago, has been heavily reliant on Dalli-Rajhara Iron Ore Mines for its input feedstock. However, more than 80% of the reserves from these mines have been utilized. The remaining reserves have a high silica content of about 8.5-10% and a ferrous content of less than 55%, negatively impacting blast furnace productivity and increasing coke consumption. To address this issue, the minister stated that until the Rowghat mine becomes fully operational, the Bhilai Plant would require approximately 13.5 MT of good quality iron ore annually, sourced from the Dalli Rajhara group of mines. Therefore, there was a need to improve the quality of the input material from these mines.

Sh. Jyotiraditya Scindia explained that the current Crushing, Screening, and Washing (CSW) system in place for the beneficiation of low-grade iron ore is not effective. After conducting research and pilot projects, it was decided to upgrade the plant with the latest technology at a cost of about ₹148.82 crore. This upgrade will enhance the quality of iron ore fines by increasing the ferrous content from 55-59% to 62-64%, thereby reducing the silica content by 2%.

The minister also highlighted SAIL's expansion plan, which aims to increase its capacity from the current 19.5 MT to 35.24 MT in the next 7-8 years. The plan includes a capital expenditure of about ₹1.1 lakh crore, with approximately ₹11,000 crore allocated for augmenting existing facilities and ₹1 lakh crore for greenfield expansion. Additionally, ancillary facilities such as an Oxygen Plant, Pellet Plant, and Ore Beneficiation units will be established on a Built Operate Own (BOO)/Construct Operate Maintain (COM) model. The plan also involves mechanization and modernization of mines and ancillaries with the latest technology.

The minister emphasized that investments in the steel sector have a significant multiplier effect on employment and output, leading to job creation and overall development in the country. He also highlighted SAIL's contributions to important infrastructure projects such as the Bhupen Hazarika Bridge, Atal Tunnel, Central Vista, and INS Vikrant, where SAIL's steel has been utilized.

Steel Production in India,
India ranks 2nd in crude steel production

Union Minister of Steel and Civil Aviation, Sh. Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, addressed a press conference at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, New Delhi, focusing on the theme of the government's "Seva, Sushasan, and Gareeb Kalyan" initiative in the Steel sector. The Minister highlighted the significance of the Steel industry in the country's progress and development, stating that India now stands as the world's second-largest producer of crude steel, surpassing Japan in 2018.

Discussing the achievements of the government over the past 9 years, Minister Scindia noted that India has become a net exporter of steel, with 6.72 million metric tons (MT) of finished steel exported and 6.02 MT imported in 2022-23. This is a substantial shift from being a net steel importer in 2014-15, with 9.32 MT imports and 5.59 MT exports. Additionally, Steel CPSEs such as SAIL, NMDC, MOIL, KIOCL, MSTC, and MECON have utilized ₹90,273.88 crores of their own resources for capital expenditure (CAPEX) and paid the Government of India a dividend of ₹21,204.18 crores. He also mentioned the progress made by the steel sector from pre-2014-15 to 2022-23 which can be seen in the table mentioned below:

The Minister placed special emphasis on the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy, which aims to promote the scientific processing and recycling of ferrous scrap. He mentioned the opening of six Vehicle Scrapping Centres across various cities, with three more scheduled to commence operations soon. The utilization of end-of-life vehicles as raw material for steel production is a key objective, and efforts are underway to engage state governments and the private sector in this initiative.

Highlighting the National Steel Policy 2017 (NSP 2017), Minister Scindia outlined the targets set to propel the steel sector's growth. By 2030-31, India aims to achieve a total crude steel capacity of 300 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) and a total crude steel demand / production of 255 MTPA. The operational capacity of SAIL is also projected to increase from 19.51 MTPA to approximately 35.65 MTPA by 2030-31. The Minister also emphasized the positive impact of the Policy for providing preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron and Steel Products (DMI & SP Policy) in government procurement, resulting in import substitution of around ₹34,800 crores.

Addressing the importance of the Productivity Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI), Minister Scindia announced that 57 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) involving 27 companies have been signed under the scheme. This is expected to attract an investment commitment of around ₹30,000 crores, leading to a downstream capacity addition of 24.7 million metric tons and the potential generation of 55,000 jobs.

In line with promoting "Brand India" steel, the Ministry of Steel has initiated the Made in India branding of steel produced within the country. Major steel producers have already joined this effort. The Ministry has also identified 22 critical infrastructure gaps and collaborated with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Railways, and Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways to address these gaps through the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan Portal. Regarding decarbonization in the steel sector, the Minister highlighted the formation of 13 task forces to identify action points for green steel production. Continuous discussions are being held with stakeholders from the steel industry and other ministries and departments, including the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Railways, and Power.

The press conference provided valuable insights into the government's initiatives and achievements in the Steel sector, highlighting the transformative steps being taken to ensure sustainable growth and development.

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