Steel makers want India’s iron ore to remain in the country

February 27th, 2008 - 8:20 pm ICT by admin  

By Soudhriti Bhabani
Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Feb 27 (IANS) Iron ore reserves in India are enough to produce 180 million tonnes of steel till 2020 if this captive resource is not exported, a top company official said here. “We have enough iron ore resource in India if we don’t export it to other countries,” Tate Steel’s chief operating officer (COO) H.M. Nerurkar told reporters at Steelrise 2008, a seminar on the steel industry that began here Wednesday.

Nerurkar said about 60 percent of India’s iron ore is being exported to foreign countries, including China.

“If we export our iron ore to China and they produce steel out of that, if affect the domestic steel market. They supply it (steel) to our country and it floods the Indian market,” he said, adding that India, having a population of 1.2 billion, has a good demand of steel.

Steelrise-2008 is a three-day international conference cum exhibition on steel to discuss development and employment generation in the industry.

Besides steel makers and representatives from ancillary industries, many stakeholders, policymakers and development thinkers have gathered at the seminar.

In a statement read out at the seminar, Tata Steel Managing Director B. Muthuraman said: “India’s domestic consumption would reach a level of 200 MT (million tonne) by 2020 and a level of over 500 MT per year on a sustainable basis in the years to come.”

The demand will grow at a rate of 10-15 percent per year, he said.

Muthuraman, who was supposed to inaugurate the seminar, could not attend the programme because of a sudden business trip.

The conference promises to be a forum for enabling organisations across the spectrum for developing a steel hub spanning the four states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal, which account for a lion’s share of India’s iron ore reserves.

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