Steel is a basic commodity for all industrial activities. Quantum of its consumption is considered as an index of industrial prosperity. Since independence, there has been a substantial growth in the steel sector in India. From 1.5 MT in 1950-51, India’s steel making capacity in the integrated sector has increased to about 16.0 MT/Yr at present. In addition, secondary sector in the country has a further steel making capacity of about 8 MT/yr. In spite of such a growth, the per capita steel consumption in India continues to remain at a low level of around 26 Kg only, as compared to 300 to 675 Kg in the developed countries and around 60 Kg in the Peoples Republic of China.
The State of Orissa in India has abundant deposits of high-grade iron ore and low-grade non-coking coal. An opportunity therefore exists for building a steel plant for manufacturing billets using coal based sponge iron and electric power generated from WHRB as well as combustion of coal fines and coal char via the electric furnace and continuous casting route.
The quality of steel produced is clean due to use of nearly 75% virgin metallics, in the form of sponge iron. Accordingly, a new steel complex has been installed at Purunaani near Nayagarh, in the Keonjhar District of Orissa based on DR-WHRB and Electric Furnace-CC route.