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Open co-generation units, balance mining and ecology: Min

Written by: Staff

Panaji, Mar 3: Pleading for striking a balance between mining and ecology, Goa Mines and Power Minister Digambar Kamat has favoured setting up of cogeneration units, compulsorily by the sponge iron industry, to reduce power burden on suppliers.

Inagugurating the two-day iron and steel summit-2006 here today, Mr Kamat said the experts should come out with strategies and latest technologies to minimise pollution by the sponge iron plants which have been cause for concern all over the country, including Goa.

''Co-generation of power by the sponge iron sector should be made mandatory so that it reduces burden on the main power generating units and the industry becomes self-reliant,'' Mr Kamat said.

He had also called for adopting scientific methods in order to ensure eco-friendly practices of mining iron ore, particularly in States like Goa where people were more sensitive to environment issues and favoured non-polluting industries.

On the occasion, State Chief Secretary J P Singh urged the mining industry to intensify its ''social responsibility'' activities by adopting more villages in the mining areas, to win over the people around.

Besides upgrading mining technologies, the industry, should concentrate on developing the secondary steel sector, like the furnace and alloys by increasing investment on research and development, he said.

India is bound to achieve the projected 110 million tonnes of steel by 2020, with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand governments recently signing 34 memoranda of understanding to build 120 million tonnes capacity, as against the existing 38 million tonnes capacity in the country, Mr Singh said.

The steel boom in China and India has resulted in the loss-making industry making a turnaround in 2004-05, even as efforts are underway to enhance the 30 kg per capita consumption in India at par with 140 kg the world over.

There is tremendous scope for growth of the sector, which could be met by meeting the research and development requirements with the Government acting as facilitator, Mr Singh, who had earlier worked with the Union Steel Ministry, said.

As many as 130 delegates from India and 10 from Germany, Saudi Arabia and Sharjah, besides top miners and industrialists, are attending the summit.

The topics of discussion include - problems and prospects of iron ore exports, pelletisation, sponge iron making, co-generation and steel melting, besides viability of mini integrated steel complexes.


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