Tightening environmental norms & clearances are making it (manufacturing) difficult for manufacturers.
Iron & Steel industry has to cope up with growing pressure concerned to environmental norms & protection measures, in addition to the pressure of volatile raw material and energy cost. Iron & Steel industry is considered to be an industry which causes significant air and water pollution. Inadequate treatment of exhaust gases before their emission to the atmosphere and inadequate treatment of waste water before its disposal can cause serious environmental issues in region close to a Steel plant. To control these environmental issues, regulatory agencies in every country all over the world issue Pollution Control Norms which the industry has to comply. Norms that are to be complied by the Indian Steel industry are available on the web site of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The issue of emission of waste gases and disposal of waste water gets more pronounced in those places, where two or more Steel plants have been constructed close to each other or where the capacity of a Steel plant has been enhanced to a very high level in a limited area. In such cases, regulatory authorities want Voluntary Industry Commitments which are much better than the fixed norms.
Regulatory agencies gradually tighten the regulations keeping in view Best Available Technology (BAT) in order to ensure environmental protection. It is always desirable to adopt that technology in a plant which gives pollution control parameters better than what are required by the regulatory agencies. This will help the plant to comply to the norms even if they are revised. Technologies with lower pollution levels also help in decreasing the production costs while productivity is improved.
The Role of Energy Conservation
Production of Iron & Steel is energy intensive. Energy conservation in Steelmaking is crucial to ensure the competitiveness of the industry and to minimize environmental impacts, such as green house gas emissions. Energy constitutes a significant portion of the production cost of Steel. It ranges from 20 per cent to 40 per cent depending on the production route, type of Iron ore & Coal used for production, the product mix, operation control technology, and material efficiency. Thus, improvements in energy efficiency results in reduced production costs and thereby improved competitiveness. More than 90 per cent of energy input in an integrated steel plant comes from solid fuel, mainly Coal. There are a large number of energy efficiency measures which can be adopted by the Steel industry. Some of these measures are of general nature, some other are equipment specific while some others are process specific. Some of these measures are connected with the energy recovery and recycling back in the process or the plant. A considerable amount of energy can be saved in the plant by eliminating the wastage and leakages. Implementation of energy management system in the plant, helps not only in the close monitoring of energy consumption but also helps in its conservation.