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India’s rise to fame in the global steel market
Jul 23, 2014
Renjith Nair
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It’s a positive outlook for the global steel industry. While the economic downturn – and therefore demand for steel – previously led to overcapacity, the World Steel Association forecasts that global steel production will increase by between 3.3 to 3.4 percent during 2014 / 2015. As global economic conditions improve, demand for steel will continue to increase to support urbanization, industrialization and new transport infrastructure. 

According to Zacks Investment Research, this is also the first time since 2006 that the growth rate in China will be outpaced by growth in other countries, and recent structural reforms by India’s new government place India in this category. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made plans for a series of ambitious, large-scale infrastructure projects that will require vast amounts of steel; resulting in an anticipated 4.5 per cent rise in domestic demand between now and 2015.

India’s ability to meet these demands is reliant on an efficient and flexible manufacturing process. Modern electrical technology and automation is key to this; increasing efficiencies, reducing costs and improving the quality of the final output. Plants like the Steel Authority of India Limited’s (SAIL) in Bokaro Steel City, and Jindal Steel & Power Plant Limited’s (JSPL)  Raigarh plant, the largest stainless steel manufacturing company in India, are already upgrading their production facilities with our technologies in order to boost production and improve the quality of the steel output. 

SAIL’s new electrical and automation equipment will raise utilization to help reduce downtime while production capacity goes up. Meanwhile, JSPL will be planning to triple its steel-making capacity by upgrading its electrical systems, providing control and precision over the steel creation processes and in turn improving the quality of steel rolls for industrial and commercial applications such as railways, ship building, infrastructure, wind turbines and defence materiel.

While the opportunity for growth has now been clearly laid down by the Indian government, plants that do not modernise their systems will struggle to keep up with demand and to deliver high quality, cost-competitive steel. Customers will be looking up to more efficient partners who have the bandwidth to deliver both, challenging brownfield expansions and also greenfield investments.

 

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Renjith Nair

Renjith Nair is the Sales Director (Industry) India with GE’s Power conversion business. Prior to joining GE in 2012, he spent major part of his career with Bharat Forge and ABB India in various roles. Held positions as project manager, procurement manager in Bharat Forge’s steel business and in ABB as Assistant Vice President (Sales & Marketing), Renjith is an Engineering graduate from BITS Pilani, India and have undergone on job trainings in Operations and Strategy.