STEEL, METALS AND MINING
Indian Industry Update ( 18th November 2011 )
Steel Demamnd growth down to 2.8% in H1: P K Mishr
Growth in domestic steel demand dipped to 2.8 per cent in the first half this fiscal from 8.8 per cent in the first four years of the 11th Five-Year Plan, says Steel Secretary P K Mishra, who has opined that it will be a challenge to meet 12th Plan production targets. Mishra also said the country needs some policy corrections to ensure that promised private sector investments in the sector become a reality.
"The Indian steel industry is facing challenging times. The growth rate in steel demand, after registering an annual growth rate of 8.8 per cent in the first four years of the 11th Plan, has fallen to 2.8 per cent in the first six months of this current year," Mishra said. He said the first four years of the 11th Plan witnessed a slowdown in domestic steel supplies.
Growth in finished steel production during this period was low at 5.8 per cent, especially in comparison to growth in steel demand.
"It is felt that meeting domestic demand, which is likely to grow at the rate of 10.3 per cent per annum in the 12th Plan, will be a highly challenging task. It is estimated that the country will require a crude steel capacity of 140 million tonnes by 2016-17 to meet domestic steel demand," Mishra explained.
"It is clear that in a business-as-usual scenario, domestic supply of steel will significantly fall short of domestic demand," he added.
He said while there are a large number of domestic and international private investors keen to invest in the Indian steel sector, a proactive government role will be required to convert these prospects into concrete initiatives.
"There is an urgent need to make necessary policy corrections or adjustments to increase domestic production of crude steel to avoid over-dependence on steel imports," he added.
To ensure time-bound implementation of greenfield capacities and facilitate rapid growth of the domestic steel industry, the Steel Ministry is drafting a new National Steel Policy and the first draft is likely to be ready for public discussion in the next few weeks, he said.
The output of the Indian steel industry is expected to reach 113 million tonnes by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan. Mishra said the Indian steel Industry is losing competitiveness in some traditional areas of strength and must take up R&D on a war-footing. For this, the ministry has brought out a roadmap on R&D and technology, he said.
"You may also be aware that investment in R&D by Indian steel companies is as low as -0.15 per cent to 0.25 per cent of turnover, as compared to 1 to 2 per cent in known steel companies across the globe," Mishra said. He also opined there is a need to discourage the export of iron ore from the country through appropriate measures.
Areas in the Mediterranean Sea meeting the requirements set out in Regulation B-4.1.2 of the
Ballast Water Management Convention
(at least 50 nautical miles from the nearest land in waters of at least 200 meters depth)
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has published a Circular informing that the Mediterranean Sea region voluntary implements the ballast water regulations from January 1st, 2012.
THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION ADOPTS BWM CONVENTION
The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) has adopted under
voluntary basis the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments
(please refer to Article 13/Paragraph 3 of the Convention) from January 1st, 2012.
More specifically, as per IMO BWM.2/Circ.35 all ships before entering or after leaving the Mediterranean Sea area
shall undertake ballast water exchange. The exchange of ballast water shall be carried out according to the
standards outlined in regulation D-1 of the Convention and shall be at least 200 nautical miles from the nearest
land and in water and in waters at least 200 meters in depth (please refer to Regulation B-4.1.1 of the Convention).
As per Regulation B-4.1.2 of the Convention in cases where this is not possible, either due to deviating the ship
from its intended voyage or relaying the ship, or for safety reasons, the exchange should be undertaken before the
ship is entering or after leaving the Mediterranean Sea area, as applicable, as far from the nearest land as possible
and in all cases in waters at least 50 nautical miles from the nearest land and in waters of at least 200 meters