1. Tata Steel Ltd. (TSL):
It is the oldest and the largest integrated iron and steel plant in India located at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. Jamshedpur is located at the confluence of the Subarnarekha and the Khorkai rivers, and at a distance of about 240 km from Kolkata. TSL is most ideally located in respect to iron ore, coking coal and flux supplies. The plant started producing pig iron in 1908 and steel in 1911.
The Tata Steel plant at Jamshedpur has the following geographical advantages.
i. Iron ore is brought from the mines in Singhbum (Jharkhand) and Mayurbhanj (Orissa). They are located at a distance of about 75 to 100 km from Jamshedpur.
ii. Coking coal is available from Jharia and Raniganj mines, which are about 150 km to 200 km away.
iii. Manganese is supplied from the mines in the Keonjhar (Orissa).
iv. Dolomite, limestone and fire clay used as flux material, are available from the Sundargarh (Orissa).
v. Kolkata, at a distance of about 240 km, provides port facilities and also a potential market for the products.
vi. Water needed for cooling is available from Subarnarekha River and the Kharkai River.
vii. Cheap labour is easily available from the thickly populated states of Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa.
viii. Jamshedpur is connected to Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai by an efficient rail and road transport. A number of factories have been established in Jamshedpur to produce machine tools, automobiles, locomotive parts, agricultural machinery, etc.
TSL is the tenth largest producer of iron and steel in the world. Its capacity may reach up to 10 to 12 million tons per year by 2010. TSL is developing A second steel plant at Gopalpur in Orissa.
2. Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO):
The three steel plants at Kulti, Burnpur and Hirapur are located near Asansol in West Bengal. They have merged together to form the Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO). The control and management of IISCO was taken over by the SAIL in 1972. Pig iron is produced at Hirapur plant and sent to Kulti for making steel. The rolling mills are in Burnpur. The IISCO plant has the following geographical advantages:
i. Iron ore is brought from Singhbhum (Jharkhand) and Mayurbhanj (Orissa). They are at a distance of about 285 km.
ii. Coking coal is available from Jharia and cheap electricity from the Damodar Valley Corporation.
iii. Manganese is supplied by Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
iv. Dolomite and limestone are obtained from Sundargarh (Orissa), which is about 325 km away.
v. Road and rail transport connect it to Kolkata, which is only about 200 km away.
vi. Cheap labour is readily available from the adjoining thickly populated states.
vii. Water is readily available from the Damodar River.
IISCO can produce about 10 lakh tons of steel. The average production is only about 4 lakh tons of pig iron, 3.5 lakh tons of crude steel and 3.8 lakh tons of saleable steel. Major part of the production is used for making rails, track parts and castings.
3. Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Ltd. (VISL):
It was established as Mysore Iron and Steel Works in 1923 by the princely state of Mysore. It is located at Bhadravati, about 17 km east of Shimoga. The plant was brought under the state control in 1962 and was renamed as Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Ltd.
It has an installed capacity of 2 lakh tons. This plant is one of the major producers of alloy and special steel in the country. The VISL plant has the following geographical advantages:
i. Bhadravati valley is about 12 km wide. Thus enough level land is available for the development and growth of the steel plant.
ii. High grade iron ore is available from Chikmaglur district, which is about 40 km away from Bhadravati.
iii. It was a charcoal-based plant, but now it uses hydroelectric power from Sharavati project.
iv. Shimoga and Chitradurga, about 50 km away, supply manganese.
v. Dolomite, chromite and limestone are also available in the nearby areas.
4. Hindustan Steel Ltd (HSL) Bhilai:
The Bhilai Steel plant is located in the Durg district of Chhattisgarh and was built with the Russian collaboration. The capacity was fixed at 10 lakh tons, which was increased later on. It started production in 1959. Now the production capacity has been raised from 10 lakh tons to more than 50 lakh tons. Bhilai steel plant has the following geographical advantages:
i. Rich iron ore is available from Dalli-Rajhara mines about 80 km away.
ii. Coal is obtained from Korba and Kargali fields in Madhya Pradesh.
iii. Limestone from Nandini mines about 25 km away.
iv. Manganese is obtained from Bhandara (Maharashtra) and Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh) mines.
v. Dolomite comes from Bilaspur.
vi. Bhilai is well-connected by rail and road network.
vii. Port facilities are offered by the Vishakhapatnam seaport.
Bhilai’s rail and structural mill are one of the most modern and the largest in the world. Recently, it has also started making plates for the ship-building industry.
5. Hindustan Steel Ltd (HSL) Raurkela:
The Raurkela Steel plant is located in the Sundargarh district of Orissa. The plant was built with technical cooperation from West Germany in 1959. Raurkela is about 400 km from Kolkata. Its major products include hot and cold-rolled sheets, galvanised sheets and electrical steel plates. Its capacity has been increased from 10 lakh tons to more than 40 lakh tons. The steel plant at Raurkela has the following geographical advantages:
i. Iron ore is available from Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts of Orissa.
ii. Coal is obtained from Jharia (Jharkhand) and Talcher (Orissa) coalfields.
iii. Hydroelectric power is supplied from the Hirakud Power Project.
iv. It receives manganese from Barajmda, dolomite from Baradwar, and limestone from Purnapani (all in Orissa).
v. It is located on the main Nagpur-Kolkata railway line and uses the port facilities of Kolkata.
6. Hindustan Steel Ltd (HSL) Durgapur:
The Durgapur Steel plant was set up in the Bardhaman district of West Bengal in 1959 with the help of the United Kingdom. It is located along the Damodar River and is about 160 km northwest of Kolkata. The production started in 1962. The total capacity of the plant has been raised from 10 lakh tons to about 35 lakh tons. The Durgapur Steel Plant specialises in the manufacture of alloy steel, light structurals, construction material and railway items like wheels, axles and sleepers.
The steel plant at Durgapur has the following geographical advantages:
i. The iron ore comes from Bolani mines in Orissa.
ii. Coal comes from Jharia and Barakar coalfields.
iii. Limestone is obtained from Sundargarh area and manganese from the Keonjhar district of Orissa.
iv. Fresh water is adequately supplied by the Damodar river through a specially built channel.
v. Hydroelectricity is supplied by the Damodar Valley Corporation.
vi. Cheap labour is readily available from the nearby densely populated states.
vii. It is well-connected by Asansol-Kolkata rail links.
7. The Bokaro Steel Plant (SAIL):
This plant is located in the coal-rich region of the Ganga plain, near the meeting point of the Bokaro and the Damodar rivers in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. It was built with the help of Russia. The production started in 1972. The initial capacity of 10 lakh tons has now been raised to 40 lakh tons. There are plans to further raise the capacity to 100 lakh tons.
The Bokaro Steel Plant draws its coal from Bokaro, Kargali and Jharia coalfields; iron ore from Keonjhar district of Orissa; limestone from Palamau district; dolomite from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh; water from Damodar River and hydroelectricity is supplied by the Damodar Valley Corporation. The sludge and slog of the plant are being used in making fertilisers at Sindri.
8. The Salem Steel Plant (SAIL):
i. This plant is located at Salem in Tamil Nadu. It started its production in 1982.
ii. The adjoining areas are rich in iron ore, limestone and ferro-alloys.
iii. The plant also enjoys the facilities of cheap power, charcoal and a vast market.
iv. Today this plant is the major producer of world class stainless steel, which is exported to many advanced countries in the world.
v. Its capacity has been doubled in 1991.
9. The Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant:
It has a unique location on the sea coast in Andhra Pradesh. This is the most sophisticated modern integrated steel plant in the country. It is well-connected with the coalfields of the Damodar Valley and iron ore deposits of Bailadila in Chhattisgarh. The plant gets limestone, dolomite and manganese from the mines of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.
The present capacity of the plant is about 30 lakh tons. The plant started its production in 1992 and now it is the second largest producer of iron and steel in the country. It is a major export oriented steel plant. Its capacity has now been raised to 40 lakh tons.
10. Other Steel Plants:
Other important steel plants are Vijayanagar Steel Plant in Bellary district of Karnataka, Diatari Steel Plant near Paradweep in Orissa and Dolvi Steel Plant in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. The combined capacity of these three plants is more than 80 lakh tons. These plants are now at different stages of development.