Steel Secretary urges paradigm shift in approach to utilise steel slag

ficciNew Delhi: A seminar on Promoting Awareness and Usage of Steel Slag was jointly organised by the Ministry of Steel and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi today. The seminar was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Indian Road Congress, National Rural Roads Development Agency, Central Road Research Institute, National Highways Authority of India, Public Works Department, Central and State Pollution Control Boards, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bureau of Indian Standards, National Council for Cement and Building Materials as well as by International Slag companies and consultants from USA, Europe and Australia. Experts from various sectors which could benefit through steel slag usage such as cement, construction, infrastructure, railways, agriculture and steel, attended the seminar.

The objective of the seminar was to stimulate discussion among various key stakeholders including the Government, policy makers, industry leaders, steel manufacturers and end-user segments from India, to illustrate existing and possible applications of iron and steel slag, and to highlight its suitability and effectiveness in replacing natural materials.

Steel slag is a co-product generated during the steel making process. It is used as an aggregate in many industries, with a high rate of adoption globally, especially in the United States, the European Union, China and Brazil. Its high abrasion resistance, soundness characteristics, high bearing strength and basicity make it suitable to be used as ballast for railways as well as in road making as a replacement for natural aggregate, in cement making, in agriculture for soil amelioration, in paver blocks & bricks, and also as an alternative to landfills. This necessitates that proper procedures, regulations and guidelines be formulated in India for the testing, processing and usage of slag. The seminar has been a useful platform to bring regulators as well as stakeholders from various industries together to work towards this.

Stating that the industry needed to now look at time-bound outcomes on the utilization of steel slag, Mr. G. Mohan Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Government of India, said, “There should be a paradigm shift in our approach. We need a sustained effort on what is possible and today is a beginning. It is gratifying to see such an overwhelming response to the need to address the utilization of steel slag. The industry needs to come together on this issue, and I hope that the sparkling discussions in the technical sessions result in something concrete.”

Mr. Vishnu Shankar Prasad, Secretary General, Indian Roads Congress said, “There is a need to have collaborative research in the country to identify applications of steel slag across sectors. The roads sector in India, being the world’s largest, has the highest capability to absorb industrial co-products such as steel slag, while also addressing costs of road construction. There is a need to have a mission-mode approach to bring all stakeholders to the same platform to discuss optimized ways to utilize this co-product.”

Presenting the view of the steel industry, Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Executive-In-Charge, (Secondary Products), Tata Steel, said that “The usage of steel slag for various applications is an established practice globally and should be adopted in India keeping in mind the economic and environmental benefits at large.”

Dr. Vijay Joshi, Consultant and Director, DRSlag, said, “This seminar organized by FICCI is an excellent way and could set a road map for India. Steel slag has excellent engineering properties and can be used in infrastructural applications.”

The inaugural session at the event was followed by two technical sessions on ‘Applicability and Usage of Slag in India’ and ‘Slag Utilization – Constraints & Challenges’ respectively.

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OdishaInc Bureau