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March 20123

A C R Das
Industrial Adviser
Ministry of Steel
World Steel Production : 1527 MT
Indian Steel Production : 72 MT
World Ranking in Production : 4
World Ranking in Consumption : 3

Projected Capacity by 2016-17 : 150 MT
Projected Capacity by 2019-20 : 200 MT
Projected Capacity by 2030 : 500 MT
Indian Steel Production is bound to grow manifold
in years to come to sustain Growth in infrastructure
/Construction, Automotive , Capital Goods and
Consumer Durable Sector i.e economic growth .

Structure of Iron & Steel Industry in India
Type of Plant Number of Units Total Capacity
(million tonnes per year)
BF-BOF based Integrated Steel Plant 8 29.997
EAF Based Integrated Steel Plant 3 10.600
EIF based plant 1170 28.833
EAF/ EOF based mini steel plant 37+2 9.500
Gas Based DRI plant 3 8.000
Coal Based DRI plant 418 26.600
Mini BF based Pig Iron plant 42 -
Ferro Alloy Units 173 4.045
Hot Re-Rolling Mills 1794 40.844
Cold Re-Rolling Mills 65 10.200
Galvanising Units 20 5.593
Colour Coating Units 6 0.515
Tin Plate Units 2 0.250
Wire Drawing Units 69 1.222
Indian Steel Industry is highly fragmented with a variety of process routes and thousands of
small & medium units for iron & steel making and also downstream processing
Process Routes in Integrated Steel Plants in India

Plant Process Route

(million tonnes per year)
SAIL, BSP, Bhilai BF-BOF/THF 3.925
SAIL, DSP, Durgapur BF-BOF 1.802
SAIL, RSP, Rourkela BF-BOF 1.900
SAIL, BSL, Bokaro BF-BOF 4.360
SAIL, ISP, Burnpur BF-BOF 0.500
RINL, VSP, Vishkapatnam BF-BOF 2.910
Tata Steel, Jamshedpur BF-BOF 6.800
JSW Steel, Bellary BF/Corex-BOF 7.800
JSW Ispat Steel, Dolvi DRI/BF-Con Arc 3.600
JSPL, Raigarh DRI/BF- AC EAF 2.400
Essar, Hazira DRI/HBI/BF/Corex- DC EAF 4.600

Even in Integrated Steel Plants, diverse process routes for iron making are
adopted, not visible elsewher.
World: 2 main process routes
Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF): ~ 70%
Electric Arc Furnace (EAF): ~ 29%
Others: ~ 1%

India: 3 main process routes
Oxygen Furnace (BOF/THF): ~ 45%
Electric Arc Furnace (EAF): ~ 23%
Electric Induction Furnace (EIF): ~ 32%

Induction Furnace Play dominant role in steel
production in India-a unique feature. Quality issue remain
BF-BOF route is likely to gain momentum.

Iron & Steel Making is resource intensive and Energy
Intensive and have environmental Ramifications.
Globally 18 Tonnes of CO2 /tcs is emitted. India 2.5-3 T/tcs
Global CO2 emission is around 30 billion tonnes /year.
Indias contribution is around 1.15 billion tonnes/ year (4%), of
Steel sector contributes 117 million tonnes/ year (10%).
Integrated steel plants largest point sources of CO2 emission
and 85% of CO2 is from iron making.
With the increase in production, energy consumption and
GHG emissions will also increase correspondingly adding to
Global Warming: an issue of international criticism.
Therefore, it is necessary that along with capacity build-up,
suitable mitigation strategies are inbuilt into the strategy.

Advanced steel plants in the world already operate close
to theoretical limits.
There is ambitious target to cut CO2 emission by 50% by
2050 which is not possible adopting conventional
technologies and would require Breakthrough
Steel Making countries/ regions have embarked on
programmes to achieve targeted CO2 emission:
COURSE 50 (Japan)
CO2 Breakthrough Programme (USA)
POSCO Breakthrough Technology Programme (Korea)
Breakthrough Technologies being explored are:
innovations in BF (Oxygen Operation), Hydrogen
Reduction, Electron Reduction, Use of Biomass, Carbon
Capture & Storage (CCS) etc.

The Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) in Indian
Steel Plants have declined substantially from 10
Gcal/MT in 1990 to 6-6.5 Gcal/MT in 2009 and are
still declining.
Best available technologies indicate SEC of
around 4.5-5 Gcal/MT for BF-BOF route and 4
Gcal/Tcs for gas based DRI-EAF unit.
Integrated steel plants in India are 50% more
energy intensive than global average.
The same holds good for CO2 emission also.
There remains large scope for improvement of
energy intensity & reduction of CO2 emission even
without pursuing breakthrough technologies.

India is committed to reduce GHG Emission Intensity of its
GDP by 20-25% by 2020 over 2005 level, through pursuits of
proactive policies.
Voluntary Initiatives by Steel Plants under Corporate
Responsibility for Environment Protection (CREP) for energy
efficiency improvement and reduction of GHG emission.
National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)
under National Action Plan for Climate Change for energy
efficiency improvement.
Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT), a flagship market based
mechanism to enhance cost effectiveness in improvements in
energy efficiency in energy intensive large industries.
PAT is legally binding and there are penalties for non fulfillment
of earmarked targets.
GOI Sustainability Development Guidelines: 5% of total MOU
score for large PSUs to cover sustainability projects with
expenditure of 0.1 % of profit (after tax).

Gradually transform the technological face of the Indian steel
industry to achieve international benchmarks in long term
perspective through:
Modernisation & Technological upgradation of the existing plants to
phase out old/ obsolete/ energy inefficient/ polluting production facilities.
Adoption of State-of-the-art technologies in Green Field Plants.
Harnessing of Waste Heat at every step of the production process.
Guidelines of modern/ state of art technologies are available in several
reference documents: SOACT Handbook of APP, BAT Handbook of EU.
Numerous commercially established energy conservation technologies:
Sinter Cooler Waste Heat Recovery, Coke Dry Quenching (CDQ), Coal
Moisture Control (CMC) in Coke Ovens, BF Top Pressure Recovery
Turbine (TRT), waste heat recovery from BF stove waste gases, OG
boiler in BOF, Regenerative Burners, Near Net Shape casting etc.:
agenda for immediate adoption.
Strategies to ensure Raw material security- utilisation of low grade ore
through beneficiation & agglomeration or through Direct Smelting,
beneficiation of high ash coal and other inputs.
Pursuing Research & Development Programmes for Low Carbon
Footprints and production of value added/ high performance steel.
Securing talent and skilled manpower to support the above strategies.

BF is the most energy intensive units and call for specially directed
initiatives to improve the productivity and energy efficiency:
Process improvements viz. revamping/conveyorization of stock house and
increasing screening efficiency of ore, sinter and coke, strengthening stoves
capacity, increasing blast volume and flow rate, increasing oxygen enrichment of
blast, higher hot blast temperatures of at-least 1100
C etc.
High level of alternate fuels injection to drastically reduce coke rate: incorporation of
technologies for injecting pulverized/ granulated coal (+ 200 kg/thm), oil (100
kg/thm), Natural gas (100 kg/thm) and waste plastics granules.
Adoption of energy efficiency measures in existing and new blast furnaces e.g. Top
pressure Recovery Turbine, use of waste heat stove gas for preheating of gas, high
efficiency stoves etc.
Increase in campaign life by introduction of various measures like copper staves,
Silicon carbide and monolithic linings in stack and bosh, closed circuit
demineralized water and provisions for regular monitoring of heat flux all along the
furnace height and cross-section, use of titanium bearing material as a regular
hearth protection measure etc.
Application of sophisticated probes (under and overburden probes, vertical probes
etc), models and computerized expert system for process analysis, control and
optimization are very important tools for bringing about quantum jump in
productivity levels of Indian blast furnaces.
Efficient casting practice through up-gradation of cast house equipment, clay mass
and liquid disposal system, incorporation of powerful mud gun and drilling machines

Direct Reduced Iron (DRI)
Accounts for 45% of iron production in India 25% gas based & 75% coal
Technology of Natural Gas based plants world class and energy
consumption in Gas DRI-EAF is the lowest, but no growth because of non
availability of natural gas.
Technology of Coal based plant is mixed and energy consumption in Coal
DRI-EAF units highest. Technological obsolescence, Poor quality of
inputs/products and higher environmental emissions are issues of concern.
Syn-gas based DRI plant ( Economic Viability?)
Improving energy efficiency and reduction of environmental emission in coal
based DRI plants failing which gradual shut down of inefficient& polluting plants
Jumbo Rotary Kiln of Outotech: a ray of hope.
FASTMET: Reduction of ore-coal composite pellets in RHF using coal, coke
breeze and carbon bearing waste as a reductant. DRI with high degree of
metallization can be charged in EAF in SME sector.
ITmk3: Flexible and environment friendly technology for smelting iron ore fines
using non-coking coal to produce iron nuggets with 96-97% iron in a RHF. Ideal
material for EAF /SME sector.

Smelting Reduction Processes
Primary objective is to produce liquid iron directly
from iron ore (fines & concentrates) and non coking
coal, by-passing agglomeration and coke making
requirements (reduced investment cost : 10-15%).
Plant emissions contain only insignificant amounts
of NOx, SO2, dust, phenols, sulfides and,
ammonium besides far lower waste-water
The promising alternative technologies which have
been commercialized/ are in the process of
commercialization and appear to be relevant are

Merits/Demerits Status
Corex is a two-stage
process: in the first
stage (Reduction
Shaft), iron ore is
reduced to DRI using
the reduction gas (65-
70% CO + 20-25% H2)
from the Melter
Gasifier and in the
second stage (Melter
Gasifier), DRI
produced in
reduction shaft is
melted to produce
hot metal.

Merits: Cost saving (up to 15%)
and Environment friendly vis--vis
Coke oven-sinter plant.-BF route
Demerits: Limited modular size
(largest corex plant is of 1.5 million
tonne capacity), Dependence on
lumps/ pellets/ coke/ weak coking
coal, high consumption (cost) of
oxygen, necessity of gainful
utilization of Corex gas and
generated coal fines.
COREX is a proven
smelting-reduction (SR)
process developed by
Siemens VAI for the cost-
effective and environment
friendly production of hot
Well established in India
and abroad- JSW Steel
and Essar steel
successfully adopted the
Corex process (C-2000
Module) .

Process Characteristics Merits/Demerits Status
FINEX: an innovative iron
making technology
developed by Siemens VAI
and POSCO.
Like Corex, Finex also
involves two reactors-
Fluidised Bed Reactors
(FBR) and Melter Gasifier
(MG). In the FBR, iron ore
fines are reduced to sponge
iron fines which are
compacted to produce Hot
Compacted Iron (HCI). The
HCI is then charged in MG
where non coking coal
briquettes (65%) are also
charged. The balance (35%)
coal is injected in the MG as
PCI. The top gas from the
FBRs is treated to remove
CO2 and part of gas (30%) is
re-cycled for use in the
Merits: Direct use of iron ore
fines, no need of lumps/pellets.
Significant reduction of SOx,
NOx and dust emissions.
Limitations: i) Necessity of
inputs in melter gasifier largely in
lumpy form (lumps/ briquettes)
ii) Need of either lumpy coal or
coal briquettes.
iii) Like Corex gas, Finex gas is
also of high calorific value and
needs to be utilized gainfully to
make the process economically
iv) The claims on lower CO2
emission vis--vis Blast Furnace
route is yet to be established and
needs further investigation.
The FINEX process has
been successfully
demonstrated at
Pohang, POSCO in two
modules- at 0.75 MTPA
and 1.5 MTPA.

Adoption of this process
is also being considered
for POSCOs venture in

SAIL has signed an
MOU with POSCO to
incorporate the
technology under JV for
creating a 2.5 3.0
MTPA additional
capacity at Bokaro Steel

Process Characteristics Merits/Demerits Status
Direct use of iron ore
and coal fines in a single
step reactor.
Involves moderate to
high degree (70% and
above) of post
combustion. The gas
generated during the
reactions is post
combusted to around
50% just above the bath
and the heat energy of
the post combustion is
transferred back to the
main process through
the liquid fountain of
molten iron bath, instead
of recovering it as export
This reduces the coal
and oxygen requirement
of the process.
A distinguishing feature of
the process is oxidation
level of the slag bath (5%
FeO in slag), which helps
in partitioning of a large
portion of phosphorous to
Further, silicon is
practically absent, making
the hot metal an ideal feed
for BOF.
Being a bed less process,
problem faced in BF in
handling high alumina ore
is resolved to a large
The process seems to
have considerable promise
in Indian context.
However, Process is not yet
fully proven
1st demonstration plant 0.8
MTPA commissioned in 2005 at
Kwinana, Western Australia.
Major shut down in February,
2006 for modification. Since its
restart in March, 2006, the Plant
achieved a capacity utilisation of
about 60%. Plans to scale up
the size (internal diameters) of
the SRV from 6m to 8m for
achieving a production of 2
MTPA from the single module.
However, due to market
softening in 2008, the
demonstration unit was put down
without any definite plan for
restart. Remains closed .
JSPL signed an agreement with
RIO Tinto for the transfer of the
existing plant to JSPL site to take
the development forward.
Process Merits/Demerits Status
Combines coal
preheating and partial
pyrolysis in a reactor, a
Cyclone Furnace for
ore melting of partially
reduced ore and a
Smelter Reduction
Vessel for final ore
reduction and iron

The three separate
associated with
Hisarna have been
proven independently
at small scale.
Significantly less
coal usage and thus
reduces the amount
of carbon dioxide
) emissions.

A flexible process
that allows partial
substitution of coal
by biomass, natural
gas or even
hydrogen (H

Developed as part of the EU-
ULCOS programme, can
produce hot metal from iron
ore fines (incl. slime) using
non-coking or thermal coal or
charcoal. Rio Tinto and Tata
Steel have commissioned a
65,000 tpa pilot plant at the
IJmuiden Steel Works in
The process is claimed to most
energy efficient with least CO2
emission having a 20%
reduction in CO
emission and
50% when combined with
Process Characteristics Merits/Demerits Present Status
A ne approach to iron making
using cold bonded self
reducing pellets /briquettes
produced from iron ore fines,
low met DRI or iron bearing
residues plus low cost solid
fuels (green pet coke fines,
high ash coal/coke, charcoal/
biomass or carbon bearing

Pellets/Briquettes smelted in a
high efficiency of unique Shaft
Furnace with very low stack
height using combination of
hot & cold blast requiring no
additional Oxygen.
Merits: Flexibility to
used different types of
raw materials.
Eliminates need of
Coke oven, sinter
plant and tonnage
oxygen plant i.e lower
investment and
opration cost (30%) .
Clean & Green
Demerits: Limited
module size but
flexible to be
combined to add up
A Demo plant of
75,000 tpa is under
operation in Sao
Paulo, Brazil.

Technology still at
first stage of maturity.

Proposal to set up a
300,000 tpa
industrial plant ( 4
modules of 75000
tpa) in next two
Steel has a future in India & and there are strong fundamentals
to support the growth.
Indian steel production is growing and is expected to grow at 8-
10% decadal growth rate.
Helping hand required from Government to resolve contentious
issues like land acquisition, amicable policies for environment
& forest clearance and creating an investment friendly
Technological Upgradation to adopt commercially available
energy efficient clean and green technologies in all production
units to maximise productivity with minimum damage to the
environment and minimise energy consumption an CO2
emission .
New Plants must adopt stat-of-the-art technologies.
BF most established route of iron production and likely to
grow, followed by DRI & SR routes.
Raw material upgradation and new Product development have
to be given due importance.
Increased R&D investment development of design &
engineering capabilities necessary to support long term growth
in the steel sector.