Steel pipe manufacturers love 'Make in India'

Vol 20, PW 20 (29 Jun 17) People & Policy

Narendra Modi is winning praise from Indian steel pipe manufacturers for aggressively promoting his Make in India policy in the oil and gas sector.

"When Modi's government took charge in 2014 it announced 15,000-km of gas pipelines would be laid in the next few years," says a source at pipe manufacturer Man Industries. "Modi has kept his word!" He adds state-owned companies have issue tenders to lay over 8000-km of gas pipeline since September 2016, equivalent to 800,000 tonnes of steel.

"Tenders are coming out rapidly," he adds. Most effective is a government move to benefit Indian steel producers with a 10% price preference over foreign players, especially Chinese companies that earlier used India as a dumping ground for pipe up to 20% cheaper than anything available locally.

Maharashtra Seamless, as reported in our June 1 issue, is one such company celebrating a full order book as a direct result of new anti-dumping duties introduced by the Modi government in December 2016. On May 3 (2017) Modi gave the domestic steel industry another boost when India's cabinet approved the National Steel Policy 2017 to increase steel consumption and production.

Under this policy, the government wants steel-making capacity to hit 300m t/y by 2030 and to increase per capita steel consumption to 160-kg from about 60-kg. One source predicts Indian pipe-manufacturers could soon be sourcing more than 50% of their steel from local suppliers.

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