Trade Group Calls For End To Tariff On Imported Alumina And Other Refractory Materials

An Indian refractory materials trade group called upon the government to drop import tariffs on raw materials necessary for production of refractories, including magnesium and alumina, citing the high cost of importing such materials and the relative scarcity of them domestically.

The Indian Refractory Makers Association (IRMA) told domestic media late last week that the government’s new goal for steel production of 300 million metric tons by 2030 means that consistent access to alumina and other refractory materials will become even more important going forward.

“Refractory is one of the key equipment used in steel making,” explained IRMA’s Head of Advocacy Sameer Nagpal. “Not just steel, refractories are also used by glass makers, aluminum, cement players etc and all these industries are growing in India. But raw materials availability to make one of the key equipment remains an issue.”

Importing such material from the People’s Republic of China pushes input costs upward, he continued.

In addition to lowering import tariffs, Nagpal suggested that the state continue efforts at producing such materials domestically by auctioning off the mineral rights to deposits of the same.

“We are trying our best to produce refractories of global standards in India and have potential to cater to the needs of steel and aluminium industries. Recently, Centre of Excellence for Refractories joined hands with IIT-BHU’s Advance Research Centre for Iron and Steel to develop advance technologies to cater to the needs of domestic steel industry,” said Nagpal.

Such a move will allow domestic refractory producers to pull abreast of global producers, which he predicts will help wean Indian refractory consumers off of their dependence upon overseas sources.

Nagpal closed by saying that Indian refractory producers have come onboard with the idea that their industry must have a positive ecosystem for it to produce refractory materials in sufficient quantities to meet domestic steel production goals.

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