Steel Scrap Recycling Policy introduced in India

1 ton of scrap shall save 1.1 tons of iron ore, 630 kg of coking coal and 55 kg of limestone

Every ton of scrap to reduce water consumption by 40%

GHG emission envisaged going down by 58% through 6R principle

In an endeavor to give further support to the National Steel Policy, 2017 the Ministry of Steel (MoS) has issued the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy on 8th November 2019. The policy aims to promote a formal and scientific collection, dismantling and processing activities for the end of life products that are sources of recyclable (ferrous, non- ferrous and other non-metallic) scraps which will lead to resource conservation and energy savings and setting up of an environmentally sound management system for handling ferrous scrap. This effort is to develop a globally competitive steel industry by adopting state of the art environment-friendly technologies.

Steel is a material most conducive for the circular economy as it can be used, reused and recycled infinitely. While the primary source of steel making is iron ore, used or re-used steel in the form of Scrap is the secondary raw material for the steel industry. Out of the current supply of scrap in India, 25 MT is sourced from the domestic unorganized scrap industry and 7 MT was imported. As the National Steel Policy 2017 (NSP-2017) aims to create 300 Million TPA Steel production capacity by 2030, the demand for scrap is also going to increase up to 70 MT. Thus, the availability of right quality of scrap needs to be a focus, which is targetted by the SSR Policy.

Further, Scrap based steel making technologies have been envisaged as one of the important options to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emission intensity. This shall feature as an important initiative of the steel sector to minimize GHG emissions. This shall also contribute to adopting the principle of 6Rs i.e. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture to avoid any adverse impact on the environment and strengthening the foundation of sustainable development.

It is also highlighted that the use of every ton of scrap shall save 1.1 tons of iron ore, 630 kg of coking coal and 55 kg of limestone. There shall be considerable savings in specific energy consumption also like the same will reduce from around 14 MJ/Kg in BF/BOF route to less than 11 MJ/ Kg in EAF/IF route, i.e. savings in energy by 16- 17%. It also reduces water consumption and GHG emission by 40% and 58% respectively.

With the increase in consumption of steel in the recent past and End-of-Life-Vehicles (ELVs), the generation of scrap is likely to be increased considerably. This scrap has to be channelized so that the same can be utilized for steel production in an environmentally friendly manner.

The scrapping policy shall ensure that quality scrap is available for the steel industry. Scrap is an important input for electric furnaces (EF). If quality scrap is provided as the charge to the electric furnaces, then the furnaces can produce high-grade steel. High Grade Steel Scrap shall not have the impurities if the processing is done with the scrap processing centers and by shredders etc. The high-grade steel scrap shall be recycled to produce high grade steel again, to be used in the industries such as equipment manufacturing, automobiles, and other downstream industries. Scrap with less or no impurities shall result in better long products that are commonly used in the construction industry and is common use steels. If better processed scrap is produced in the country, it shall result in not only import substitution of scrap but also import substitution of high-end steel that is currently imported in the country.

And when the production of steel rises to 250 MT, as is envisaged in the National Steel Policy, then the requirement of scrap shall rise to 70-80 MT. This shall require about 700 scrap processing centers, that is 700 shredders. These shall in turn be fed by 2800-3000 collections and dismantling centres spread all over the country.

This is expected to generate enormous job opportunities. The job opportunities will be spread through various parts of the country, which will reduce migration and thereby, curb further stress in the urban ecosystem.

While the MoS will be the focal Ministry to deal with all the issues arising from scrap: such home scrap, new scrap, and old scrap; the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) may streamline and clarify the regulatory requirements eliminating multiple clearances wherever feasible for steel scrap industry. MoEF&CC shall prepare Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and codify the procedures and clearances of all the 15 or more Acts/Rules under which clearances are required for setting up of collection and dismantling and scrap processing centers and shall establish a Single Window Clearance System by ensuring expeditious clearances with respect to Environmental and Pollution Regulations. This shall help in smoother and faster setting up of scrapping centers. MoS, through coordination with MoEF&CC, ensure effective enforcement of regulations through CPCB, SPCB and State Governments to prevent illegal scrap aggregation and processing in the unorganized sector which is an environmental and public health hazard. That MoEF&CC /CPCB/SPCB may adopt uniform norms for categorization of shredding/recycling centers and care shall be taken to give guidelines such that these centers shall not be categorized above “Orange” as per the environmental norms. Based on discussions it emerges that MoEF&CC would finalize uniform categorization norms applicable in all States separately for “Collection & Dismantling Centres” and “Recycling Centres” in three months’ time.

An Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee has been set up with Secretary, Ministry of Steel as Convener and Secretaries of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Department Revenue and Ministry of Labour & Employment as members.

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