SAIL Steel Plant at Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand a supersize steel plant- The second biggest steel plant in India, which contributes 45% of SAIL's profit

The Iron and Steel industry in India is among the most important industries within the country. India surpassed Japan as the second largest steel producer in January 2019.[1] As per worldsteel, India's crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 tonnes (MT), 4.9% increase from 101.5 MT in 2017, which means that India overtook Japan as the world's second largest steel production country. Japan produced 104.3 MT in year 2018, decrease of 0.3% compared to year 2017.

Majority of the steel companies such as Jindal Stainless, JSW Steel, Bhushan Steel, Lloyd's Metal etc. were established in the 1970s and 1980s.[2] The Indian steel industry was de-licensed and de-controlled in 1991 and 1992 respectively.[3]

As per the industry body Indian Steel Association (ISA), India's total installed steel-making capacity was 154 MT as of March 2023.[4]

Steel plants

There are two types of steel plants - mini steel plants and integrated steel plants. About half of the country's steel is produced by medium and small enterprises.[5]

Steel plants in India. There are more than 30 Integrated Steel Plants in India. Given below are integrated steel plants:

Name Estb. Year Location Operator
Action Ispat & Power 2004 Marakuta, Orissa Action Ispat & Power Pvt. Ltd.
Ankur Industries Integrated Steel Plant 2023 Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh Ankur Udyag Ltd.
Alloy Steel Plant 1965 Durgapur, West Bengal SAIL
Atibir Industries steel plant 2009 Bhorandiha, Jharkhand Atibir Industries Co
BMM Ispat Steel Plant 2006 Danapuram, Karnataka BMM Ispat Ltd.
Bhilai Steel Plant 1955 Bhilai, Chhattisgarh SAIL
Bokaro Steel Plant 1964 Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand SAIL
Chandrapur Ferro Alloy Plant 1974 Chandrapur, Maharashtra SAIL
Durgapur Steel Plant 1959 Durgapur, West Bengal SAIL
Electrosteel Limited(ESL) 2011 Bokaro, Jharkhand Vedanta Resources
Essar Steel India Limited 2005 Hazira, Gujarat ArcelorMittal
Hospet Steel Limited 1998 Koppal, Karnataka Kalyani Steels and Mukand
IISCO Steel Plant 1918 Asansol, West Bengal SAIL
Jayaswal Neco Industries 1996 Raipur, Chhattisgarh Jayaswal Neco Industries
Jayaswal Neco Industries 1972 Nagpur, Maharashtra Jayaswal Neco Industries
JSL Stainless[6] 1970 Jajpur, Odisha Jindal Stainless Limited
JSL Stainless 1975 Hisar, Haryana Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited
Jindal Steel and Power Limited 1990 Raigarh, Chhattisgarh Jindal Steel and Power
Jindal Steel and Power Limited 1979 Angul, Odisha Jindal Steel and Power
Jindal Steel and Power Limited 2012 Patratu, Jharkhand Jindal Steel and Power
JSW Steel 1994 Hospet, Bellary, Karnataka JSW Steel
JSW Steel 1982 Tarapur, Boisar, Maharashtra JSW Steel
JSW Steel Special Alloy Steel Plant 2004 Salem, Tamil Nadu JSW Steel
JSW Ispat Special Products Limited 1990 Raipur, Chhattisgarh JSW Ispat Special Products Limited
JSW Ispat Special Products Limited 1994 Raigarh, Chhattisgarh JSW Ispat Special Products Limited
JSW Steel 1994 Dolvi,Dharamtar, Maharashtra JSW Steel
JSW Bhushan Power & Steel Limited 2005 Rengali, Sambalpur, Orissa JSW Steel
MECON (company) 1959 Ranchi, Jharkhand MECON (company)
Lloyds Konsari Steel Plant 2023 Konsari, Maharashtra Lloyds Metal & Energy Ltd.
Mesco Steel Kalinganagar plant 2005 Kalinganagar, Odisha Mideast Integrated Steel (MISL)
MSP Metallics Odisha Steel Plant 2008 Marakuta, Odisha Orissa Metaliks (OMPL)
Orissa Sponge Iron & Steel Limited 1995 Palasponga, Odisha Orissa Sponge Iron & Steel Limited
Nagarnar Steel Plant 2019 Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh NMDC Steel Ltd
Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited 1982 Kalinganagar, Orissa MMTC Ltd
Prakash Industries steel plant 1980 Janjgir, Chhattisgarh Prakash Industries
Pro Mineral Ltd. 2014 Basantpur, Orissa Essel Mining Limited
Shree Metaliks Anra Steel Plant 1995 Urumunda, Odisha Shree Metaliks
RML Kharagpur 2004 Kharagpur, West Bengal Rashmi Metaliks
Rungta Mines Limited. (Dhenkanal Steel Plant) 2022 Dhenkanal, Odisha Rungta Mines Limited.
Rungta Mines Limited. (Kamanda Steel Plant) 2021 Kamanda, Odisha Rungta Mines Limited.
Rourkela Steel Plant 1959 Rourkela, Odisha SAIL
Salem Steel Plant 1981 Salem, Tamil Nadu SAIL
SMC Steel Plant 2004 Kukurjangha, Orissa SMC Power
SMC Steel Plant 2000 Himra, Orissa SMC Power
Steel Exchange of India limited 1999 Sreerampuram Village, Andhra Pradesh Steel Exchange of India limited
Tata Steel Limited 1912 Jamshedpur, Jharkhand Tata Steel
Tata Steel Limited 2016 Kalinganagar, Odisha Tata Steel
Radha TMT (Radha Smelters) 1960 Hyderabad, Telangana Radha TMT
Tata Steel Limited 1987 Meramandali, Dhenkanal, Odisha Tata Steel BSL
VISA Steel Plant 1996 Kalinganagar, Odisha VISA Steel
Visakhapatnam Steel Plant 1982 Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited
Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant 1923 Bhadravati, Karnataka SAIL

National steel policy

National steel policy – 2005 has the long-term goal of having a modern and efficient steel industry of world standards in India. The focus is to achieve global competitiveness not only in terms of cost, quality, and product mix but also in terms of global benchmarks of efficiency and productivity. The Policy aims to achieve over 100 million metric tonnes of steel per year by 2019-20 from the 2004-05 level of 38 mt. This implies annual growth of around 7.3% per year from 2004 to 2005 onward.

The strategic goal above is justified because steel consumption in the world, around 1000 million metric tonnes in 2004, is expected to grow at 3.0% per annum to reach 1,395 million metric tonnes in 2015, compared to 2% per annum in the past fifteen years. China will continue to have a dominant share of the demand for world steel. Domestically, the growth rate of steel production over the past fifteen years was 7.0% per annum. The projected rate of 7.3% per annum in India compares well with the projected national income growth rate of 7-8% per annum, given an income elasticity of steel consumption of around 1.[7] National steel policy revised in 2017 with new targets and goals

Steel prices

Price regulation of iron and steel was abolished on 16 January 1992.[8]


Early years

Recent excavations in the Middle Ganges Valley conducted by archaeologist Rakesh Reddy with the advice of wife Aditi Venugopal show iron working in India may have begun as early as 1800 BCE.[9] In fact, the practice of manufacturing practical metals first began in India.[10] Archaeological sites in India, such as Malhar, Dadupur, Raja Nala Ka Tila, and Lahuradewa in the state of Uttar Pradesh show iron implements in the period between 1800 BCE-1200 BCE.[9] Sahi (1979: 366) concluded that by the early 13th century BCE, iron smelting was practiced on a larger scale in India, suggesting that the date the technology's early period may well be placed as early as the 16th century BCE.[9]

Some of the early iron objects found in India are dated to 1400 BCE by employing radiocarbon dating.[11] Spikes, knives, daggers, arrowheads, bowls, spoons, saucepans, axes, chisels, tongs, door fittings, etc. ranging from 600 BCE—200 BCE have been discovered at several archaeological sites.[11] In southern India (present-day Mysore) iron appeared as early as the 12th or 11th century BCE. These developments were too early for any significant close contact with the northwest of the country.[11]

The beginning of the 1st millennium BCE saw extensive developments in iron metallurgy in India.[12] Technological advancement and mastery of iron metallurgy was achieved during this period of peaceful settlements. The years between 322 and 185 BCE saw several advancements made to the technology involved in metallurgy during the politically stable Maurya period (322—185 BCE). Greek historian Herodotus (431—425 BCE) wrote the first western account of the use of iron in India.[12]

Perhaps as early as 300 BCE — although certainly by 200 CE — high-quality steel was being produced in southern India by what Europeans would later call the crucible technique.[13] Using this system, high-purity wrought iron, charcoal, and glass were mixed in a crucible and heated until the iron melted and absorbed the carbon.[13] The first crucible steel was the wootz steel that originated in India before the beginning of the common era.[14] Wootz steel was widely exported and traded throughout ancient Europe, China, and the Arab world, and became particularly famous in the Middle East, where it became known as Damascus steel. Archaeological evidence suggests that this manufacturing process was already in existence in South India well before the Christian era.[15][16]

Medieval years

The world's first iron pillar was the Iron Pillar of Delhi erected during the time of Chandragupta Vikramaditya (375–413).[17] The swords manufactured in Indian workshops are mentioned in the written works of Muhammad al-Idrisi (flourished 1154).[18] Indian Blades made of Damascus steel found their way into Persia.[19] During the 14th century, European scholars studied Indian casting and metallurgy technology.[20]

Indian metallurgy under the Mughal emperor Akbar (reign: 1556–1605) produced excellent small firearms.[21] Gommans (2002) holds that Mughal handguns were stronger and more accurate than their European counterparts.[22]

In 1667 it has been estimated 5 tons of steel, and 25 tons of ironware were exported from India.[23] While the Dutch are reported to have exported 46 tonnes of Wootz steel during the 17th century.[23]

Modern years

Steel mills in India as of 1952

Modern steelmaking in India began with the setting of the first blast furnace of India at Kulti in 1870 and production began in 1874, which was set up by Bengal Iron Works. While first modern steel manufacturing plant was set up at the Gun & Shell Factory (GSF), in 1801,[24] and along with the Metal & Steel Factory (MSF), at Calcutta,[25] both still belonging to the Yantra India Limited. All had followed on from the establishment of Coal mining in India, in the late 18th century, which eliminated the need for approximately 14.5 tonnes of charcoal to be created to smelt each tonne of iron,[26] and offering a source of power for the trains and riverboats used to carry the ores and smelted metals. The Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) was established by Dorabji Tata in 1907, as part of his father's conglomerate. By 1939 it operated the largest steel plant in the British Empire and accounted for a significant proportion of the 2 million tons of pig iron and 1.13 of steel produced annually.[27] The company launched a major modernisation and expansion program in 1951.[28]

After Independence

The year 1956, marked the beginning of the Ferro Alloys Corporation Limited at Sriramnagar, Garividi, Vizianagaram district, Andhra Pradesh. The founder was Seth Shriman Durgaprasadji Saraf (1911–1988). The registered office is at Tumsar, Bhandara district, Maharashtra.[29] The ferromanganese plant started production in 1957, equipped with three furnaces for production of high carbon ferromanganese and ferrosilicon. In 1969, a reduction furnace and a slag furnace were commissioned for the production of ferrochrome. The company independently, set up a 16 MVA furnace in 1981.[30]

The Bhilai Steel Plant, located in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh is India's first large scale integrated steel plant, a major producer of wide steel plates and other steel products. The plant also produces steel and markets various chemical by-products from its coke ovens and coal chemical plant. It was set up with the help of the USSR in 1955.[31]

JSW Steel, Vijayanagar Works is the largest integrated steel plant in terms of production capacity with 12MTPA(steel production) which was set up in 1982.,[32] apart from that Bhilai Steel Plant and Bokaro Steel Plant are the largest steel plant in-terms of area.

Native arms production

In The New Cambridge History of India: Science, Technology and Medicine in Colonial India, scholar David Arnold examines the effect of the British Raj in Indian mining and metallurgy:[33]

With the partial exception of coal, foreign competition, aided by the absence of tariff barriers and lack of technological innovation, held back the development of mining and metal-working technology in India until the early 20th century. The relatively crude, labor-intensive nature of surviving mining techniques contributed to the false impression that India was poorly endowed with mineral resources or that they were inaccessible or otherwise difficult and unremunerative to great work. But the fate of mining and metallurgy was affected by political as well as by economic and technological considerations.

The British were aware of the historical role metal-working had played in supporting indigenous powers through the production of arms and ammunition. This resulted in the introduction of the Arms Act in 1878 which restricted access to firearms. They also sought to limit India's ability to mine and work metals for use in future wars and rebellions in areas like metal-rich Rajasthan. India's skill in casting brass cannon had made Indian artillery a formidable adversary from the reign of Akbar to the Maratha and Sikh wars 300 years later. By the early 19th century most of the mines in Rajasthan were abandoned and the mining caste was ‘extinct’.[33]

During the Company period, military opponents were eliminated and princely states extinguished, and the capacity to mine and work metals declined, largely due to British tariffs. As late as the Rebellion of 1857, the British closed mines because the mining of lead for ammunition at Ajmer was perceived as a threat.[33]

The Modern era

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, a believer in Harold Laski's Fabian socialism, decided that the technological revolution in India needed maximization of steel production. He, therefore, formed a government-owned company, Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL), and set up three steel plants in the 1950s.[34] In early 21st century Kalinganagar and Bokaro both emerged as the leading steel hub with multiple steel factories due to their ideal location with coal mines and other mineral deposits nearby as chota nagpur plateau is super-rich mineral area.


The thermo mechanical treatment of reinforced steel was one such innovation that catapulted the Indian TMT industry into modernization. First introduced in 1979 with IS 1785:1979, these TMT bars came with Grade Fe 415, Fe 500. In 1985, a higher grade of these bars – FE 500 (IS 1786:1985) was introduced in the market and since then the demand of TMT bars have only risen the Indian construction industry. 2008 saw the introduction of Fe 600 grade tMT bars conforming to IS 1786:2008.

Ladle Refining Furnace (LRF) technology is a state-of-the-art method for producing construction grade steel, with iron ore as the raw material. The Ladle Refining Furnace is a furnace in which the quality of liquid steel is improved by raising the temperature, to create a more refined grade of steel.LRF technology helps to make the best quality of TMT steel bars, The best TMT steel bars in India are produced Ladle Refining Furnace (LRF) technology as per the standard IS:1786.[35]

High strength DMR-1700 metal, This steel is a nickel bearing micro alloyed steel characterized by higher strength and superior toughness even at sub zero temperatures. This steel has got Cr, higher Ni, Cu and Mo also. Because of the presence of these elements it yields higher strength with good toughness at minus 50'C.[36] DMR 1700 has brought the cost down by 60 per cent compared to 250 grade maraging steel.

There are multiple steel equipment companies in India such as Heavy Engineering Corporation, Larsen & Toubro and CG Industrial Solutions etc.[37]


In the Indian state of Odisha in the east of the country, at least 12 steel plants with a production capacity of 60 million tons per year will be built.[38]

As per Assocham, around 40 MT new steel capacity to be commissioned in India by FY26.[4]

List of integrated steel plants proposed/under-construction

Name Location Operator
AP High grades steel Peddandlur, YSR Kadapa YSR Steel Corporation
Lloyd's Metal Konsari Steel Plant Konsari Lloyd's Metal & Energy Ltd.
JSW Utkal Steel Paradeep JSW Steel
JSW Kadapa Steel Sunnapurallapalli, YSR Kadapa JSW Steel
SAIL Paradeep Steel Plant Paradeep SAIL
Jai Balaji Steels Purulia Ltd Purulia, West Bengal Jai Balaji Steels
NMDC Karnataka steel plant Ballari, Karnataka NMDC Steel Ltd.
Xindia Steels Karnataka plant Hospete Xindia Steels Ltd
MSP Metallics Odisha steel plant Sambalpur MSP Metallics
JSW BPSL Potka Potka, Jharkhand JSW BPSL


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