India’s steel majors are seeking the mandatory inclusion of Made-in-India offerings, specially those that are “melted and poured in the country”, for solar and wind power projects set up here. This would include projects used for transmission and distribution too.

The surge in steel imports into India is driving the push.

In a letter across different ministries, like Ministry of Power, New and Renewable Energy and Steel, the Indian Steel Association (ISA) -- which represents 65 per cent of domestic crude steel including the major private players like AM/NS India, JSW, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel and Power (JSP) and PSUs like SAIL and RINL -- argues for the use of steel which is “melted and poured” in India.

It mentioned that, at present, a substantial segment of offerings in these categories are imported, even when the Centre is looking to push for PLI scheme for speciality steel-making. Some of the high-end offerings used in wind and solar projects, and also included in the PLI scheme are the coated, high tensile plates and alloy steels. 

“Steel being one of the major input materials for the solar and wind power projects, Make-In-India steel duly “Melted and Poured” in India be made compulsory for all Solar and Wind power projects including for transmission and distribution,” it wrote in a letter reviewed by businessline.

‘Melted and Poured’ is defined as the original location where the raw steel is first produced in a steel-making furnace in a liquid state; and then poured into its first solid shape like a slab, billets or ingots or a finished steel mill product.

“It is unfortunate that today we are witnessing surging imports of steel for this initiative (National Renewable Mission) which compromises the larger national interest. Made-in-India steel duly Melted-and-Poured (in India) would immensely help,” the letter adds.

Incidentally, steel continues to be one of the major input raw materials for construction, across solar and wind enery solutions and around 50-tonnes of steel is consumed for every 1-MW of Solar power and 200 tonnes (of stel) is requireed for wind power solutions, market sources say.

The association argues that a push for Made-in-India steel would “insulate the renewable energy mission from the vagaries of global uncertainty”; and also “ensure consistent supplies”. It would also promote a supply-chain ecosystem comprising of MSME’s and other Indian enterprises.

A “thrust for local procurement (was) administered by steel deficit countries like the US to promote its Clean Energy mission”, steel mills point out adding that, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 of the US appropriates large investments in Climate and Clean Energy programmes and offers sizeable incentives for local procurement.