Ministry of Steel organizes National Workshop on “Forging Sustainability in the Steel Sector”

New Delhi, May 17, 2024.

The Ministry of Steel organized a National Workshop on “Forging Sustainability in the Steel Sector” at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today. The workshop aimed at driving sustainable practices in the steel industry by engaging with stakeholders on the important issues of the steel sector by focusing on the sustainable practices, emerging technologies and tools to mitigate the challenges. The inaugural session was attended by Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary Ministry of Steel, Ms. Leena Nandan, Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), officials of Ministry of Steel & PSUs, experts & other stakeholders from Steel sector.

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary Ministry of Steel addressed the inaugural session and said that this workshop is a significant initiative and a continuation of the dialogue the Ministry of Steel is engaging in with other ministries, including the MoEFCC and NITI Aayog, to address the sustainability of the steel sector.

Addressing the challenge of rising carbon emissions amid growing demand, Shri Sinha pointed out that India’s per ton crude steel emission is 25% higher than the global average and is attributed, inter alia, to factors such as lack of natural gas, the quality of available iron ore, which requires beneficiation for use in Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) processes and the limited availability of scrap, with domestic scrap generation standing at only 20-25 million tonnes.

To address these challenges, Shri Sinha mentioned the ongoing efforts of a task force comprising the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change which is focused on encouraging the beneficiation of low-grade iron ore to improve its suitability for steelmaking. He also discussed historical factors affecting scrap availability and noted that the policies like Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for the auto sector proposed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, aims at increasing vehicle scrap availability, though the industrial and construction sectors will continue to have higher steel consumption.

Despite these challenges, there is a dire need for undertaking responsible actions to significantly reduce carbon emissions. He pointed out that 90% of emissions in steel making come from Scope 1 (within the factory gates), with the remaining emissions from Scope 2 (electricity generation) and Scope 3 (upstream processes). Therefore, the industry has substantial control over its emissions and must take proactive steps towards sustainability.

“While the Ministry will continue to provide guidance and nudge, it is imperative that the steel industry itself takes up the mantle as trustees of the Earth to work towards reducing emissions and promoting sustainability” Shri Sinha exhorted all the stakeholders concerned.