Essar Steel India has supplied 9,000 tonnes of high quality steel plates for a subsea tankage project in the North Sea for Premier Oil, UK, for building oil and gas reservoirs in the seabed. Ravi Singh, in an email interaction with Lalitha Rao, explains the corrosion-resistant properties of the steel plates and their potential.
We understand that steel plates made by Essar marks a defining moment not just for Essar Steel but also for the domestic steel industry.
We are happy that we have joined the ranks of a few global steel producers who can make this grade of steel plates. This has opened up a new market for us.
Discuss the technical aspects of the steel plates in question, in particular, the corrosion resistant properties.
Since these steel plates are being used under sea, it has to remain corrosion free for a period of at least 50 years. This product has to conform to National Association of Corrosion Engineers, USA.
How do you see the scope for more such export orders?
We see a great potential for this product since deep sea exploration is gaining ground in view of the high crude prices. We can also develop steel products which find applications in similar conditions.
Do you see demand for such plates in India’s hydrocarbon sector?
The market for such steel plates is opening up in India since this is an import substitute product. We primarily target three segments in hydrocarbon sector—offshore structures, pipelines and reservoirs.
Apart from this NACE MR0175-compliant steel, what are some of the other key import-substitute products?
NACE MR0175 is a lab testing standard for Hydrogen Induced Cracking resistant steels. The steel is specified to be compliant to this standard based on the application criticality.
On a different note, there are some steel products that India does not yet produce. What is your view and your general plans in this direction?
CRGO electrical steel is a growing segment in India with improvement in the watt loss standards and the general push to the electricity generation in the 12th Five-Year Plan. We supply semi-processed electrical steel to the Indian market. Currently we have no plans to enter the CRGO segment.
Can you discuss the big role that technology has played in Essar Steel’s growth over the years?
Technology has played a critical role in the growth of Essar Steel. We have three iron making technologies, two steel making technologies and three hot rolling technologies. The multiple technologies help us to create new products and serve our customers better while improving our capability to meet market volatility.
Are you working on some more import-substitution products?
We regularly create new products to substitute imported steels for various sectors including defence, yellow goods, oil and gas, boilers and pressure vessels, power sector etc. New product development is very intrinsic to steel industry sustainability.