Public sector steel behemoth, Steel Authority of India Ltd
(SAIL), is betting on its speciality structural steel products
to shore up margins. With its superior and differentiated product mix of structurals, SAIL
hopes to steal a march over secondary steel makers who have a dominant presence in this market with a share of 80 per cent.
“The share of rolled structural sections in SAIL’s overall sales volume was approximately seven per cent in 2016-17. With a capacity of 1.85 million tonnes available from the new structural mills, SAIL
will provide a wider option to designers,” said a company spokesperson.
company has invested Rs 912 crore in the medium structural mill at Durgapur and Rs 1,118 crore in the universal structural mill at Burnpur. The combined capacity of both mills is 1.85 million tonnes per annum. The two mills are capable of producing the entire range of parallel flange beams as per IS 12778, angle and Channels as per IS 808, RCS and Special Sections like Z-piling and U-piling. Depending on market requirements, SAIL
would take a call on making further investments in the two structural mills.
has a share of 12 per cent in the structural steel segment. Jindal Steel & Power Ltd
(JSPL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd
(RINL) are the other key organised players in this category. Secondary steel players have a dominant share of 80 per cent in this category. But, with their conventional sections, the secondary steel makers have constraints and this is where SAIL’s structural mills have an edge. “Parallel flange beams are superior to conventional sections in terms of ease and flexibility of design, and are more economical in terms of steel usage due to better sectional properties. Construction with steel is faster and economical, considering the life-cycle cost, and is also environment-friendly,” said the spokesperson.
According to the estimates of the joint plant committee of the Union steel ministry, the market size of structural steel was 7.6 million tonnes in 2016-17, with a growth of 4.3 per cent over the previous fiscal. Structural steel is the leading structural framing material for buildings in developed economies such as the US and EU. In 2015 in US, structural steel had 48 per cent share in non-residential and multi-story residential construction as against 32 per cent for reinforced concrete indicating a preference for structural steel.
In India, non-residential and multi-story residential construction is predominantly based on reinforced concrete at present. However, investment in infrastructure and construction projects will drive growth of structural steel products
in the country. Gradual shift to steel structure-based construction in non-residential and multi-storeyed residential construction is expected to boost the use of structural steel in the country.