Tata Steel will set up small-sized factories to make reinforced steel from scrapped automobiles and other products, a top official of the company said.
The company commissioned its first such steel recycling plant in Rohtak, Haryana last year in partnership with Aarti Green Tech, a build-own-operate partner.
TV Narendran, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Steel, said, “We are talking about setting up, in the next few months, half a million or 800,000-tonne steel plant which will process scrap steel and convert that into reinforced steel.”
While the vehicle scrap yards announced by Minister of Road Transport and Highway, Nitin Gadkari, under the scrappage incentive scheme, is the first step in the process of scrapping an automobile, the left-over metal, which is the body shell, is used for making recycled steel.
According to Narendran, more plants like the one in Rohtak are set to come up in other parts of the country in the next few years. Such plants can be set up on an area of 50-100 acre closer to the recycling unit using the electric arc furnace route instead of the conventional steel plant that requires 3,000 acres.
“In the first step the car is separated from items like seats, steering, copper wires. We don’t want to do anything with those items. We can shred the steel shell, do a quality check and supply. We are the step two of that process. What Gadkari is speaking about is having (vehicle) dismantling facilities in different districts. The scrapped steel facility itself will be more concentrated. We plan to set up one in the South and West over the next few years,” Narendran added.
The Rohtak facility would source scrap from market segments such as end-of-life vehicles, obsolete households, construction and demolition, industrial etc. through an app FerroHaat. The scrap is processed through mechanised equipment and supplied for downstream steel making. Steel thus producedentails lower carbon emissions, resource consumption and energy utilisation.
While Tata Steel did not provide estimated investments required for the initiative, typically a 1 million tonne per annum recycled steel plant requires an investment of ₹3,000 crore, as per industry estimates.
The government is encouraging vehicle owners to give up those vehicles that are old, polluting and not road worthy. While the country has been running on Bharat Stage VI emission standard, which is equivalent to the current European emission standard, there are many vehicles on Indian roads that do not even meet BSIV standards.
The voluntary vehicle scrapping policy aims to phase out old and unfit vehicles and make it mandatory for personal vehicles to undergo fitness tests in automated centres after 20 years while the commercial vehicles will undergo the test after 15 years.
Scrapping of vehicles will give birth to multiple scrap yards across India and the need for recycled steel producing plants.
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