Domestic steel makers on Tuesday said India is capable of producing special steel grades to meet the future needs of the country's oil and gas sector.
They were speaking in a webinar organised by FICCI in which Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan also participated. The event was organised to discuss with the stakeholders the ways to promote the use of domestically manufactured steel in the oil and gas industry.
In his address, the minister said the government is planning to almost double its oil refining capacity to 450-500 million tonne in the next 10 years and added that the construction of a refinery as well as laying of oil and gas pipelines and expansion of the city gas distribution network will fuel demand for steel in the country.
Jayant Acharya, JSW Steel director (commercial and marketing) said, "India's economic growth is closely linked to the energy demand and therefore the need for oil and gas is projected to rise sharply. The minister has provided for substantial investment worth crores in the National Infrastructure Pipeline to set up the necessary infrastructure for petroleum and natural gas in India. All these investments will require a large amount of steel especially API grade steel and pipe."
"India has all the necessary steel making and pipe-making capability and capacities to meet the requirements of the oil and gas sector," Acharya added.
JSW has already supplied more than 1.6 million tonne of API grade steel in addition to structural in the last decade and has capabilities to produce API-steel in various size and grade up to X70.
He said JSW Steel has the capacity of 18 million tonne per annum (MTPA), out of which 12 MTPA is in the hot strip mill and the company would be completing another 5 MTPA of expansion of hot strip mill in the current fiscal year.
"So, JSW Steel is in a position to provide quantities as and when required to meet the requirement of the oil and gas industry," he said.
VR Sharma, managing director of Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) said India is already capable of producing the required amount and grade of steel for the needs of the oil and gas industry.
"It is a matter of more collaborative approach (between steel and oil & gas industry) that how to work together in the field of resurgent development in the field in meeting the standards set by the oil and gas industry.
"JSPL has the widest mill of hot rolled coil (HRC). The company produces 5 meter wide plates. If someone wants to set up plant of 160 inch diameter for spiral pipe welding plant, we can supply 3,000 mm of HRC in a thickness of 230 mm," Sharma added.
JSPL, he said, is among the only four mills in the world to have made such steel.
Sharma said his company is already exporting steel for usage in the oil and gas sector and added JSPL has dedicated rakes for dispatch of its products and if it gets orders, supply will not be an issue.
"We have dedicated rakes for delivery to Paradip port, Gangavaram port and in terms of prices, we can meet out prices of Chinese and Korean firms," he said.
Dilip Oommen, CEO, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India (AMNS) said there are world-class facilities already in India and sought government's attention on imports of steel products for usage in the oil and gas sector.
Between January 2019 and March 2020, he said, just for the pipeline projects itself there was import of 873,000 tonne of steel, of which 50 per cent was from FTA nations and 46 per cent from China alone. This is not in alignment with government's 'Atmanirbhar' initiative.
Oommen said, "AMNS India can produce plates for use in the oil and gas sector. For the sector, we are producing all the different types of steel, including X80 etc. We also have the reach today to the best of technology. We can develop those grades of steel in India."