Coastal areas across India face losses of more than Rs 1,000 crore annually due to corrosion, which can be checked by galvanising structures using zinc, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh said today.
“Coastal area structures are prone to corrosion incurring loss of over 1000 crore every year. Structures built on the coastal areas need to be protected by choosing galvanised bar,” he said at the International Galvanising Conference here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Smart City project will be built on reformed structures that will promote use of steel and zinc, he said, adding that the focus will be on Research & Development (R&D) as well as exploration.
“Like an ant can kill an elephant, you need zinc coating to make steel corrosion free. To achieve long life in bridges, India needs galvanised steel structures,” Singh said.
Consumption of zinc is directly related to steel market. India needs to grow on the basis of the US’s metal industry — Whatever produced, needs to be consumed, he added.
He also launched the Hindustan Zinc die casting alloy (HZDA) that is produced using primary zinc and pure aluminium and will cater to the needs of the die-casting sector for applications in automobile components, household appliances, sanitary-ware and defence.
Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) CEO Sunil Duggal said: “India loses around 4-5 per cent of GDP annually on account of corrosion losses.”
Western countries mandate the use of galvanising for the steel structures used for bridges, highways, public utility, airports, metro stations and railways stations for long lasting and robust structures, he added.
On contribution from the mining sector in India’s GDP, Duggal said: “For meeting 1 per cent of GDP through mining, Indian mining industry needs to grow 27 per cent and HZL by at least 50 per cent.”
Speaking on the economics and importance of galvanising, International Zinc Association Executive Director Stephen Wilkinson said car makers in Europe, North America, Korea and Japan have been using galvanised steel for body panels for decades.
These companies provide anti-corrosion and perforation warranties for a minimum of 10 years. But there is no such protection for most cars made for the Indian consumers, he added.
Here, customers are advised to pay for extra coatings to protect the car body after purchase. More than 60 per cent of the cars in India have surface rust which reduces steel strength and the life of the car, Wilkinson said.