India to become world’s largest exporter: JSPL’s Sharma

India will become the world’s largest steel exporter in the coming years, surpassing China, on the back of its capacity expansion, global steel demand, and China’s export restrictions, according to Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) managing director V.R. Sharma.

“India is seeing a massive capacity expansion, expected to get commissioned in over four to five years,” Sharma said in an exclusive interview with Kallanish. “China, on the other hand, is reducing exports to fulfil its domestic demand, making a clear space for India to become the global steel exporter. The whole world is working on a stimulus package to develop infrastructure, which ultimately creates a huge steel demand in the coming years.”

India should not see the ASEAN countries as competitors, Sharma explained. “China is not exporting anything, the Philippines is not exporting anything, neither Malaysia nor Thailand. Although there can be exceptions, but India is supplying steel to these nations,” he observed. “All these countries have their domestic demand and we don’t see them exporting in the coming future.”

JSPL is eyeing the expansion of its Odisha-based steel unit’s capacity and a new project installation in Andhra Pradesh. “We are entering into the hot rolled coil segment, with a steelmaking and rolling mill capacity expansion of 3 million tonnes/year at our Odisha-based unit. The expansion will be partly a greenfield project and partly a brownfield project. The company will be investing INR 21,000 crore [$2.82 billion] and the project is likely to get commissioned in March 2023,” Sharma commented.

“The Andhra Pradesh project will be installed in the port-based city of Krishnapatnam. The company is very much keen to install the unit near the port for the ease in import of raw materials and minerals. The project will have a 3m t/y steelmaking capacity and is likely to get commissioned through the fiscal year 2026,” he added.

In line with the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for specialty steel, JSPL is working on producing specialty steel to serve Indian Railways. “JSPL congratulates the Government of India for their initiative on reducing imports of specialty steel by introducing the PLI scheme. JSPL has taken two keen projects out of the PLI scheme, which includes the grade 1175 heat-treated rails project used for deploying high speed and heavy load tracks. Another project being the production of 1080 grade head hardened rails used for metro rail services,” Sharma concluded.

Sayed Aameer India