Stainless Steel was produced for the first time in India during the late sixties of the last century at Alloy Steel Plant (ASP) at Durgapur, a unit of India’s public sector giant Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), formerly known as Hindustan Steel Limited or HSL. SAIL’s Salem Steel Plant (SSP) was commissioned on 13th September, 1981 and the inauguration of the second phase of expansion took place on 9th April, 1988. Salem Steel Plant’s contribution towards India’s growth into a global player in the stainless steel industry is considerable as it triggered off an application boom ever since its inception. Thereafter in 1978 the Industrial
The 1980s saw installation of modern refining facilities like AOD and VOD with some major Electric Arc Furnace (EAF), continuous casting and rolling mills resulting in the use of high carbon ferro-chrome for the first time in India. The introduction of AOD and VOD processes made the production cost decrease and correspondingly demand picked up. Some smaller Induction Furnace units started production by melting stainless steel scrap for recycling it into usable stainless steel.
Towards the end of 1980s, two major developments took place that helped significantly in the development of the Stainless Steel Industry in India -
The Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) was founded in November, 1989 by seven leading stainless steel producers in India with the object of diversifying and
Policy of the Government of India allowed production of stainless steel by the private sector.
The table below displays an apparent data of imports, exports and consumption of stainless steel in India between 2004 – 05 and 2010 – 11:
|Year||Prod (P)||Imports (I)||Exports (E)|
Imports as % of
Exports as % of
* Provisional (Source: DGCI & S, Govt of India)
According to media reports and also industrial sources, the innovative uses in existing and new applications areas especially in kitchen, automobiles, railways, malls, multiplexes, construction and furniture industries etc. will drive the demand of stainless steel in India.
According to ISSDA (Indian Stainless Steel Development Association) sources, although India is the world's second-largest consumer and third-largest producer of stainless steel, the nation's average per capita consumption of stainless steel is only about 2 kilos, whereas the global average is 5 kgs. Going by another projection of industry experts, by 2015 – 16 the consumption of stainless steel in Kitchen Ware segment will come down from the present level of 70 per cent to 52 per cent while that of the Process Industry will go up from 10 to 12 per cent and of the various Construction sectors will rise from 5 to 12 per cent in India alone. Moreover, with the efforts of the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) and supported by producers, consumers and the Government of India, the Stainless Steel Industry in India has a bright future ahead.
and boosting the use and applications of stainless steel in India. Since its inception the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) has organized several workshops, conferences, exhibitions, seminars, training programmes etc. and has been continuously providing technical support and assistance in establishing good quality fabrication facilities of stainless steel in India. The biggest achievement of Indian Stainless Steel Development Association or ISSDA has been to bring a complete change in the mindset of the consumers in this country about the use and benefits of stainless steel which has, definitely had its positive impact in the development of the Stainless Steel Industry in India.
|Year||Production (x 1000 tonnes)||Y-O-Y Growth (%)|
|2000 - 01||780||--|
|2001 - 02||760||(-) 2.56|
|2002 - 03||1200||57.89|
|2003 - 04||1450||20.83|
|2004 - 05||1706||17.66|
|2005 - 06||1870||9.61|
|2006 - 07||2050||9.63|
|2007 - 08||2082||1.56|
|2008 - 09||2144||2.98|
|2009 - 10||2311||7.79|
|2010 - 11||2600||12.91|
India became a net exporter of stainless steel in 2001-02 and has maintained this position till now. Salem Stainless, as it is popularly known both in domestic and export markets, is exported to more than 42 countries including the USA, European countries, African countries, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East nations. India presently is producing all major Grades of stainless steel such as 200, 300, and 400 series as per AISI specifications [Refer Grades and Series of Stainless Steels - Compositions and Uses]. Indian stainless steel producers are now capable of meeting all critical requirements of nuclear power installations and other process industries by supplying higher grades of stainless steel. The 400 series stainless steel exclusively used for coinage and automobile industry.
The high growth in production at 57.89% in 2002 – 03 over the previous year was due to increased production by private sector plants and also as a result of higher production by SAIL’s Salem plant to the extent of about 22000 tonnes over the previous year. The low growth in production in 2007 – 08 and 2008 – 09 may be attributed to the global meltdown that started in October 2008.
India’s share in the global production of stainless steel averaged about 6.18% between 2007 and 2011. The average annual growth in production of stainless steel in India between 2000 – 01 and 2010 – 11 works out at 23.3 per cent. Production of stainless steel in India between 2000-01 and 2010-11 are presented in the following table:
2. Nickel prices reached high levels in 1988. To counter this, the Indian technologists developed low nickel high manganese Austenitic Stainless Steel grade in 200 series. Due to the high price of nickel and its non-availability in India, the 200 Series was developed in early 1990s. Gradually, India has emerged as the largest producer of 200 series in the world. Interestingly, a large portion of India’s stainless steel exports belongs to the 200 Series. Cold rolled stainless steel is produced in Austenitic, Martensitic and Ferritic categories/grades in a number of finishes. Also see Categories and Types of Stainless Steels: Compositions and Properties