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  • Gauri S.

Centre proposes to develop next 10 years R&D roadmap for iron and steel sector

On May 11, 2023, a brainstorming session was convened in the Ministry of Steel, presided over by Shri N. N. Sinha, Secretary of Steel, to develop a thorough medium-term R&D roadmap and action plan for the iron and steel sector for the ensuing ten years. Participants in the meeting included representatives from the steel industry, academics, research facilities, design and engineering firms, as well as other relevant Ministries/Departments including DST, DSIR, DRDO, etc. Dr. Indranil Chattoraj, a former director of the National Metallurgical Laboratory (CSIR-NML) in Jamshedpur, and Smt. Ruchika Chaudhary Govil, an additional secretary for the Ministry of Steel, moderated the conversations.

Discussions about the requirements for R&D efforts that can be undertaken on a single platform for the long-term sustainable development of the Indian Steel Sector got the meeting started. Iron ore and coal beneficiation, carbon capture and utilisation, steel slag utilisation, decarbonization technologies, the use of bio-char to replace coke/coal in some areas of iron and steel making, as well as R&D to address challenges and issues specific to the secondary steel sector, were among the thrust areas identified for research. To address the R&D requirements of the iron and steel industry, discussions were held to determine ways and means for enhancing the link between industry, research labs, and academia.

Following that, discussions were held about how to make sure that the intellectual property created through research and development is accessible to the entire steel industry in India, as well as how to translate this IP into the creation of actual processes and the machineries and plants that go along with them. The necessity for, sources of, and institutional development required for carrying out such R&D initiatives were also covered.

Several integrated steel plants and steel CPSEs stepped up to provide their facilities for the sector as a whole. The discussion's overarching subject was to put the limited national R&D resources to the best use in order to quickly address national priorities and to assume technological leadership in many fields related to iron and steel.

While appreciating stakeholders for their significant comments that have set the tone for future discussions on the topic, Secretary (Steel) highlighted that specific inputs will be sought from them in the future for establishing the roadmap/ R&D programmes to be carried out on priority. Based on the identified R&D projects and their costs, the Ministry of Steel will identify and enable financing sources as well as the ecosystem needed to carry out the activities.

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