Steel Industry – Current challenges, National Steel Policy 2017, etc

[pib] Steel Scrap Recycling Policy


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

  1. This will ensure scientific processing & recycling of ferrous scrap generated from various sources and a variety of products.
  2. The policy framework shall provide standard guidelines for collection, dismantling and shredding activities in an organized, safe and environmentally sound manner.
  3. 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.
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