From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Steel scrap
Mains level : Steel production and associated factors
- Ministry of Steel has issued the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy.
Steel Scrap Recycling Policy
- This will ensure scientific processing & recycling of ferrous scrap generated from various sources and a variety of products.
- The policy framework shall provide standard guidelines for collection, dismantling and shredding activities in an organized, safe and environmentally sound manner.
- The policy aims to achieve the following objectives –
- To promote circular economy in the steel sector.
- To promote a formal and scientific collection, dismantling and processing activities for end of life products that are sources of recyclable (ferrous, non- ferrous and other non-metallic) scraps.
- It will lead to resource conservation and energy savings and setting up of an environmentally sound management system for handling ferrous scrap.
- Processing and recycling of products in an organized, safe and environment friendly manner.
- To evolve a responsive ecosystem by involving all stakeholders.
- To produce high quality ferrous scrap for quality steel production thus minimizing the dependency on imports.
- To decongest the Indian cities from ELVs and reuse of ferrous scrap.
- To promote 6Rs principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture through scientific handling, processing and disposal of all types of recyclable scraps including non-ferrous scraps, through authorized centers / facility.
- Steel is a material most conducive for circular economy as it can be used, reused and recycled infinitely.
- While iron ore remains the primary source of steel making, used or re-used steel in the form of Scrap is the secondary raw material for the steel industry.
- Indian steel industry is characterized by the presence of a large number of small steel producers who utilize scrap with other inputs for steel making.
Why focus on scrap steel?
- The availability of scrap is a major issue in India and in 2017 the deficit was to the tune of 7 million Tons.
- This was imported at the cost of more than Rs. 24,500 crores (approx.) in 2017-18.
- The gap between demand and supply is can be reduced in the future and the country may be self-sufficient by 2030.
- The scrap has to be channelized so that the same can be utilized for steel production in an environmentally friendly manner.
Commercial significance of scrap
- Scrap is an important input for the electric furnaces.
- If quality scrap is provided as the charge to the electric furnaces, then the furnaces can produce high grade steel.
- High Grade Steel Scrap shall not have the impurities if processing is done with the scrap processing centres and by shredders etc.
- The high-grade steel scrap shall be recycled to produce high grade steel again, to be used in the industries such as equipment manufacturing, automobiles and other downstream industries.
- Scrap with less or no impurities shall result in better long products that are commonly used in the construction industry and is common use steels.
- If better-processed scrap is produced in the country, it shall result in not only import substitution of scrap but also import substitution of high-end steel that is currently imported in the country.
- Scrap based steel making technologies have been envisaged as one of the important options to reduce GHG emission intensity.
- This shall also contribute in adopting the principle of 6Rs i.e. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture to avoid any adverse impact on the environment.
- There is a worldwide trend to increase steel production using scrap as the main raw material as recycling of scrap helps in conservation of vital natural resources besides other numerous benefits.