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Manufacturing Industries In India: Iron And Steel Industry - Major Industries

Updated on December 25, 2014

Iron And Steel Industry


Large Integrated Iron and Steel Plants in India

The major iron and steel plants in India are as follows:

  1. Tata Steel Company — private sector
  2. Bhilai Steel Plant — First public sector plant set up in technical collaboration with the USSR (now Russia)
  3. Durgapur Steel Plant — Set up in technical collaboration with Great Britain
  4. Rourkela Steel Plant — Set up in collaboration with West Germany (now Germany)
  5. Bokaro Steel Plant — Set up in collaboration with the USSR (now Russia)
  6. Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO)
  7. Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Ltd.
  8. Visakhapatnam Steel Project
  9. Salem Steel Plant
  10. Vijayanagar Steel Plant

Another Steel Plant at Paradwip in Orissa is fast coming up.

Tata Steel Company (TELCO) (Tata Motors)

This is the oldest and the largest steel industry of India.It is a private sector enterprise.It was established in 1907 by Jamshedji Tata at Sakchi in Singhbhum District of Jharkhand. Later on, it was named as Janishedpur after Jamshedji. Its production started in 1911. The plant produces a variety of rails, wheels, billets, iron sheets, sleepers for railways and many other items.

Favorable factors

  • High-grade haematite, iron ore available from Noamundi mines of Singhbhum in Jharkhand and Mayurbhanj in Orissa.
  • Coal from Jharia coalfields.
  • Manganese from Keonjhar District in Orissa.
  • Dolomite, limestone and fire clay used as flux materials available from Sundergarh in Orissa and Singhbhum in Jharkhand.
  • River Subarnarekha provides water for cooling purpose along with the water supply from storage dam at Kharkai.
  • Jamshedpur being well connected with Kolkata, Mumbai. and Chennai by road and railways, provides ideal transport facilities for moving the raw materials and finished products.
  • Densely populated regions of Jharkhand and Orissa provide cheap labor.

Bhilai Iron And Steel Plant

This plant was set up in Durg District of Chhattisgarh in 1957 in collaboration with the USSR for technical support. It was the first plant under the public sector. The purpose of setting up of this plant was to bring prosperity to Durg area. The production of steel started in 1959. This plant mainly produces rails, railway sleepers, beams, billets and angles.

Favorable factors

  • Iron ore is obtained from Dalli-Rajhara range, 80 km south of Bhilai. Coal is brought from Korba and Kargati fields of Chhattisgarh which is of inferior quality and hence coal from -Maria and Bokaro is also used.
  • Limestone available from Nandani quarries, about 24 km away.
  • Manganese is obtained from Balaghat of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Dolomite obtained from Bilaspur.
  • Thermal power from Korba thermal power station.
  • Water supply from Tendula canal.
  • Cheap labor available from the thickly populated surrounding regions.
  • Well connected with Kolkata-Nagpur railway line; a special railway line was constructed to transport iron ore to Bhilai Steel Works from Dalli.

Durgapur Steel Plant

This plant is located at Durgapur in Burdwan District of West Bengal, about 159 km from Kolkata. It was set up in 1959 with the British collaboration. The production of steel started in 1962. This plant produces flats, pig iron, billets and stainless steel.

Favorable factors

  • Iron ore from Keonjhar in Orissa and Singhbhum in Jharkhand.
  • Coking coal from Jharia and Raniganj.
  • Limestone obtained from Birmitrapur in Sundargarh and manganese from Keonjhar, Orissa.
  • Dolomite from Birmitrapur.
  • Water supply from Damodar river near Durgapur barrage.
  • Cheap labor supply available in plenty.
  • This steel plant is situated on the main Delhi Kolkata route; a navigation canal connects it to Hoogly river, hence Kolkata provides the port facilities.

Rourkela Steel Plant

This plant is situated in the Sundargarh District of north Orissa. It was set up in collaboration with the West German firm Krupps and Demag during the Second Five-Year Plan. It started its production in 1959. It is well known for its latest technology in steel making. It has contributed special steel for vehicles related to Indian Space Satellite Program. The plant produces heavy steel plates, sheets and strips which are used for railway wagons, boilers, railway coaches and shipbuilding. This plant also supports a fertilizer plant nearby which uses the by-products released by it. Visakhapatnam shipyards get their supply of heavy plates from this plant.

Favorable factors

  • Iron ore from Sundargarh and Keonjhar District, these sources being 77 km from its location.
  • Coal brought from Jharia (located 220 km from the plant), Talcher and Korba coalfields.
  • Power from Hirakud project iodated at a distance of 150 km.
  • Manganese from Barajmda, dolomite from Baradwar and Hirni mines in Madhya Pradesh and limestone from Birmitrapur.
  • Water supply from Brahmani river.
  • Cheap labor available from nearby areas.
  • It is well connected to Kolkata through road and railways, thus Kolkata providing the port facilities for movement of raw materials and finished products.

Bokaro Steel Plant

This public sector company was set up in 1964 by the Indian government in collaboration with the USSR at Bokaro near the confluence of Bokaro and Damodar rivers in Hazaribagh District of Jharkhand. It started its production in 1972. This plant produces crude steel and pig iron.

Favorable factors

  • Iron ore from Kiriburu mines in Orissa.
  • Coal brought from Jharia coalfields located at a distance of 65 km.
  • Limestone from Bhavanathpur and dolomite from Palamu District of Jharkhand.
  • Hydro power from Damodar Valley Corporation.
  • Water supply from river Damodar.
  • Kolkata at a distance of 300 km provides the essential port facilities.

Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO)

Three iron and steel plants at Kulti, Hirapur and 'Burnpur which were set up in 1864, 1908 and 1937 respectively were merged together and are now known as Indian Iron and Steel Company.It came under public sector in 1972. The three plants are linked by Kolkata-Asansol railway line. The Hirapur plant produces pig iron which is sent to Kulti for making steel. The rolling mills are located at Burnpur near West Bengal, about 210 km from Kolkata. This plant produces rails, hot-rolled galvanized sheets and billets.

Favorable factors

  • Iron ore from Singhbhum District of Jharkhand and Mayurbhanj in Orissa.
  • Coal from Jharia, 137 km from the plant.
  • Power supply-from Damodar Valley Corporation.
  • Dolomite and, limestone available from Sundargarh Distt. of Orissa, 300 km away.
  • Cheap labor available from the surrounding areas.
  • Well connected roads to Kolkata port.
  • Water supply from Damodar river.

Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Ltd.

This plant was established as Mysore Iron and Steel Company (MISCO) in 1923. It is located at Bhadravati in Shimoga District of Karnataka. This was brought under public sector in 1962 and renamed after the great engineer, Sir Visvesvaraya. The plant produces a variety of items like billets, plates, rails, wheels, alloy steels and sleepers for railways.

Favorable factors

  • Iron ore from Kemmangundi in Chikmagalur, about 40 km away.
  • Located away from main coal areas.
  • Hydroelectric power from Sharavati and Mahatma Gandhi hydroelectric projects; earlier it used charcoal from forest woods on Western Ghats for smelting iron ore.
  • Limestone obtained from Bhundiguda, just 25 km from the plant.
  • Manganese from Shimoga and a Chitradurga, about 50 km away.
  • Dolomite and chromite available within 50 km radius.
  • Water obtained from Bhadravati river.
  • Situation of the plant on the main railway line.

Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant

Three more steel plants were planned during the Fourth Five-Year Plan in order to meet the demand of steel. These plants were located at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Salem in Tamil Nadu and Vijayanagar in Karnataka. Visakhapatnam plant is the latest integrated iron and steel plant which was completed in 1992. It is the most sophisticated and modern steel plant in the country. It has a unique location as a seaport. It is the first seashore-based steel plant in the country managed by Rashtriya Ispat Nigam. It started its production in 1992. It is a major export-oriented steel plant and takes full advantage of its coastal location.It is the second largest producer of iron and steel in the country. This plant is famous for shipbuilding industry.

Favorable factors

  • Raw materials like iron ore from Bailadila mines in Chhattisgarh.
  • Coking coal from Pookkii and Bhalore coal mines in Jharkhand.
  • Limestone brought from Jaggayyapeta in Andhra Pradesh and dolomite from Birmitrapur in Orissa and Khammam in Andhra Pradesh.

It is to be noted that Vishakhapatnam is also famous for its largest shipyard in India. It has already built and delivered 102 vessels.

Salem Steel Plant

The Salem Steel Plant in Tamil Nadu was set up to produce special stainless steel sheets. Today, it is the producer of world class steel and exports steel to some of the advanced countries such as USA.

Vijayanagar Steel Plant

This plant has been set up to produce mild steel.

Mini Steel Plants In India

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© 2014 Rachit Bhargava

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    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 

      3 years ago from Jaipur

      Thanks for an insightful article. Rated up and useful. Good work, keep it up. You are writing a series that describes manufacturing industries in India. Make in India made in India.

    • pramodgokhale profile image


      3 years ago from Pune( India)


      You articles is informative and brief history of India's core industry. Iron and steel industries generates revenue and employment. construction boom is only possible by steel industry.

      Nehru regime built large steel plants in public sector and made India self reliant in this sector. There was strong critic against these public sector plants but Nehru was right. Job/ employment was necessary plus steel production , new technologies to learn. India produced skilled manpower due this infrastructure set up.


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