Bhubaneswar: Odisha has the potential to produce 100 million tonnes of steel out of 300 million tonnes envisaged in National Steel Policy by 2030-31, said the union steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh.

Singh Tuesday visited Kalinganagar and later met the chief minister Naveen Patnaik at later’s office in state secretariat. The union minister interacted with MDs and CEOs of major steel producing units located Odisha.

Singh said Odisha is a major steel producing state contributing more than half of steel production in the country. Stating that Kalinganagar is a major industrial hub, he said enhanced production from Kalinganagar and Odisha is important to achieve the common objecting of producing 300 million tonnes by 2030.

India has become the second largest producing nation in 2018, he said adding, India, in 2017-18, has produced more than 100 million tonnes of steel.  Indian Steel Industry has come out of the difficulties faced during 2014-15 and 2015-16 due to various policy interventions by the government of India.  National Steel Policy and DMI&SP Policy were notified during 2017 giving direction and fillip to the domestic industry, he minister said.

Kalinganagar is a major industrial hub.  Around 15 steel plants are located in this region which include public sector plants like NINL and private sector plants like Tata Steel, Jindal Stainless, Visa Steel, MESCO. He has expressed the hope that Kalinganagar develops potential to develop downstream facilities which include ferro alloy plants, duct iron pipes, steel furniture, power component manufacturing as well as stainless steel units.

Representatives of the steel manufacturers  talked about iron ore availability .  Industry representatives also mentioned about increasing need for utilizing iron ore fines for pellet manufacturing so that precious iron ore can be preserved.  The minister discussed in detail the challenges to the growth of Indian steel industry, such as logistics in terms of development of ports and increasing capacity of Indian railways, creating dedicated freight corridors to move raw materials as well as finished goods.