One of the task force, set up by the Ministry of Steel to chart the decarbonisation process, has suggested that there will be creation of new roles as India’s steel mills switch to use of green hydrogen and other low carbon emitting energy resources. However, at present, there is no scope of training or scope of skill learning for these new roles that are expected to come up.

Accordingly, arrangements for training are to be made for these new roles that will be coming up in future, the task force members said in a presentation before the Ministry.

The new openings include people who would track products from steel making to delivery; data analytics, specialised DRI kiln operators who can use -hydrogen or natural gas; non coal based fuel injectors in blast furnaces, operator of synthetic gas producer, robotics operator, among others.

The skill development task-force headed by Sunita Sanghi has in its report pointed out that nearly 4.76 lakh of the existing 11.89 lakh manpower (nearly 50 per cent) in the sector would require reskilling and up-skilling. (businessline has a copy of the report)

It has also mentioned that till the first phase of decarbonisation process is underway – which includes a 10-year period from 2023 – 2034, the incremental man-power addition required would be 10.6 lakh, of which 80 per cent of nearly 8.5 lakh is attributable to the decarbonisation and digitalisation process.

The cost of man-power training is pegged at around ₹7,000 - ₹10,000 per person, depending on factors like batch size, curricula and so on. The estimated cost outlay for training close to 4,00,000 people is pegged anywhere between ₹265 crore and ₹379 crore; and the task force said most large enterprises are expected to bear the costs on their own.

Phase-wise decarbonisation

India’s emission intensity in the steel sector is around 2.55 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of steel produced. Company wise break-up show SAIL to have an intensity of 2.5, Tata Steel at 2.12, JSPL at 2.59 and JSW at 2.49.

The Phase 1 of decarbonisation process in the steel industry, to be carried out between 2023 and 2034, include push for beneficiation of low-grade ore and pelletisation, use of waste heat recovery systems (WHRS) for medium, low and high-temperature exhaust gases, using waste plastics in coke making and use of natural gas, biomass charcoal, and plastics to replace coke, replacing old plants with high-capacity energy efficient ones, among others.

The Phase 2, between 2034 and 247, include use of scrap, reducing costs and carbon emissions through processes than include use of hydrogen as a reducing agent, recycling top gas as fuel among others.

In Phase 3, between 2048 and 2070, hybrid injection (hydrogen breakthrough in iron making technologies), carbon utilisation & storage(CCUS) by setting up carbon capture plants and production of green steel will be taken up.

Limited data

The task force, which made a presentation before the Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, said, there exists limited data on the skill gap from industries on decarbonisation.

It has also pointed out that there is non-availability of information on expansion and technology adoption in the steel industry.

“Inadequate training facilities and funding specially for secondary sector,” has also been pointed out as a concern area.

The task force said that students are moving away from steel industry; and highlighted on the need for a proper assessment mechanism. “Recommendations emphasised the need to create and empower educational institutions to meet the industry’s evolving skill demands,” an official said.