India needs to develop 20-25% of steel capacity along coast by 2025 to meet export targets: Birender Singh
Steel minister Birender Singh has said India could aspire to develop 20-25% of its steel capacity along the country’s coastline by 2025 to meet its export targets. The minister’s comments came during an event when he flagged off the maiden coastal shipment of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Vizag Steel, marking the steel major’s foray into sea trade for its domestic needs.
Speaking on the occasion, the Steel Minister said the Sagarmala Project would transform the logistic sector and change the lives of those living along the country’s 7500-km coastline. India could aspire for 25-30% of steel capacity to be coastal by 2025 to meet the requirement of steel exports, the minister said. At present, logistic cost in India is amongst the highest in the world but Sagarmala programme has the potential to unlock full potential of India’s coast line and waterways and make logistics sector competitive with the world standards, he added.
Coastal shipping is cheaper than road or rail by 60-80% and reduces the burden on rail and road transport. He observed that an overall cost saving of around Rs. 40,000 crore per annum is estimated from this project by 2025.
While commending RINL for foraying into sea trade to strengthen its relationship with the coastal transportation for domestic requirements, he said and added that RINL should take advantage of utilizing its locational advantage for import of raw materials like coking coal and export of finished products. He lauded the inherent advantages of coastal shipping over land modes of transport adding that it is environmentally friendly, energy efficient and safer.