India and Japan are the world's second and third-largest steel producers respectively

India and Japan have decided to strengthen and consolidate their joint efforts for sustainable steel industry growth and decarbonisation in the sector. At the same time, Japan is keen to ramp up investments in India’s steel sector.

This is expected to have a positive impact on the global steel manufacturing scenario, given that India and Japan are the world’s second and third largest steel producers respectively.

India has set the targets of achieving the total crude steel capacity of 300 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) and total crude steel demand/production of 255 MTPA by 2030-31. By 2030-31, it is also envisaged to enhance the operational capacity of crude steel production of SAIL from existing 19.51 MTPA to around 35.65 MTPA tentatively.

According to Union Minister of Steel Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Japan is keen to make investments of about 5 trillion Japanese Yen in India, including in the steel sector. His remarks came after a meeting with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi in New Delhi on July 20, 2023, to discuss cooperation in the steel sector and decarbonisation issues.

“Both sides stressed the importance of pursuing a policy approach that takes into account the circumstances of each country's industry, with the underlying fundamental principle of pursuing both economic growth and low carbon transition in the steel sector,” India’s Union Ministry of Steel said in a separate statement.

Recognizing the recent expansion of investment activities in India by Japanese steel producers, both sides decided to support the cooperation between the public and private sectors of the two countries, which will lead to the appropriate development of the global steel industry and production of more value-added steel in India.

They affirmed the importance of cooperation in achieving their respective net-zero goals, recognizing the heterogeneity of steel decarbonization pathways. They also discussed the appropriate measurement methodologies for carbon intensity of steel production for their respective carbon neutrality goals.

The two sides recognized the significance of the steel industry in contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for around 7% of global emissions. Therefore, they agreed to develop a comprehensive, ambitious policy framework to reduce industry emissions. The two ministers encouraged accurate tracking of progress towards net-zero goals and help identify areas for improvement in the steel production process.

In addition to the commitment to support cooperation between the public and private sectors of both nations, the two sides have also emphasized the need for research and development initiatives in the steel industry to foster technological advancements in sustainable practices.

In order to continue such cooperation, it was jointly decided to hold further discussions through the Steel Dialogue and other cooperation programs in November, 2023. The focus of these programmes and dialogue will be on training programs, adoption of innovative technologies for increasing energy efficiency, decarbonization and resource efficiency of steel production, with the participation of the public and private sectors, the Ministry of Steel said.