Make in Steel 2019: Quality Standards to Uphold Sustainable Infrastructure

India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest steel producer. With intense focus, the government has initiated policies to ensure time-bound creation of world-class infrastructure in the country. However, it is vital that the raw materials used in these projects are of a high degree of quality to ensure a high return on investment, and public safety.  

L-R: Pratap Padode, President and Founder, FIRST Construction Council; Avinash Bhandari, Chief Executive Officer and Joint MD, Electrotherm, Deepak Gupta, Chief R&D and Quality Assurance, Essar Steel; and NK Vijayvargia, Consultant, Indian Stainless Steel Development Association.

FIRST Construction Council (FCC) organised “Make In Steel 2019” conference at Hotel Lalit, New Delhi on March 13, 2019. The theme of the conference was “Quality Standards to Uphold Sustainable Infrastructure”. For the conference, the council has set an exciting agenda and discussed the key innovation of steel in construction; explore opportunities that will benefit the use of steel and ensuring good quality of steel in building India.

The conference witnessed participation from across steel manufacturers, steel industry associations, government officials, etc. to discuss on key innovations of steel in construction, explore opportunities to benefit from the use of steel, network with leading figures in the industry, and develop new business contacts across the whole industry chain.

Pratap Padode, President and Founder, FCC, during his inaugural speech mentioned the need for Indian steel producers to change the way they manufactures steel. “Quality and sustainability will be the key to India’s infrastructure creation,” he added.

Dr Susmita Dasgupta, Jt. Chief Economist, Joint Plant Committee, Ministry of Steel, talked about how India produces more steel than it consumes, and this has enormous bearing on the international market. She urged the steel producers to look beyond comparing themselves to China. “FCC India will play a critical role in ensuring that India produces high-quality steel,” she added

Ensuring Good Quality of Steel in Building India

India is the second largest steel producer in the world and the government has been pursuing imposition of steel quality control order for ensuring the availability of quality steel to the industry, users and the public at large for the sectors mainly in construction, infrastructure, automotive and engineering applications. This session discussed about how to enhance and ensure standardisation. To this, NK Vijayvargia, Consultant, Indian Stainless Steel Development Association said, “More testing laboratories shall be set up for steel firms in the MSME segment.” “Quality standards must also be introduced for steel used in utensils,” he added. Vijayvargia suggested that MSMEs must set up shop in Industrial clusters to enhance quality of their products.

Deepak Gupta, Chief R&D and Quality Assurance, Essar Steellaudedthe introduction of stringent quality guidelines by the Ministry of Steel for the betterment of the infrastructure sector. He observed that most quality standards specified by BIS are at par with international standards.

Avinash Bhandari, CEO and Joint MD, Electrothermasserted that the steel products must comply with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms irrespective of the route of production.

Sustainability in Steel Production

The steel industry believes that sustainable development must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This session focused on better energy management solutions, efficiency in raw material management and water transport and logistical support. JM Sinha, Chief Rail Logistics, Customer Service Division & Logistics, Tata Steel, suggested to leverage logistics in order to lower costs and enhance efficiencies. Shashi Bhushan Shukla, Member Traffic, Inland Waterways Authority of India,mentioned about how the development of inland waterways will help the steel industry to ship goods right up to the Northeast region. Satyajit Mohapatra, General Manager- Technical Marketing, Essar Steel talked on how adoption of latest technologies has helped Essar Steel to significantly enhance efficiencies over the last 10 years.

Steel Leadership

This session emphasised on maximising steel usage, investments in building capacity and uberisation of logistics infrastructure. Rahul Prithiani, Director, CRISIL Researchdiscussed on India’s per capita consumption of steel which is mere 68 kg compared to the global average of over 200 kg. However, according to Prithiani, upcoming infrastructure projects would help in capacity building for steel. On this, BK Arora, GM, Afcons Infrastructuresaid, “Unfortunately, the use of steel is presently very restricted in infrastructure projects, and high cost of steel proves to be an impediment when it comes to EPC projects in infrastructure.” Krishnakumar Subramanian, CEO Building Solutions, Everest Industries said, “Steel offers a solution in terms of time, sustainability and sturdiness as far as infrastructure projects are concerned.” According to RK Pandey, Member Projects, NHAI, steel have a good potential in construction of concrete highways.

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