Panaji, Jan 18 : Setting up auto-shredding plants will not only help India save foreign exchange but also preserve its natural resources like iron ore for posterity, Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said on Thursday.
"It will reduce the dependence on present annual import of scrap of 5-6 million tonnes of shredded scrap in the country.
Consequently, foreign exchange outgo will also be reduced. In addition, the auto grade steel of vehicles will be recycled into a similar grade of steel," Singh said at the fifth Indian International Metal Re-Cycling Conference in Goa.
Singh said his Ministry had already set up a joint venture for an auto-shredding plant and that setting up of similar ventures would bode well for the country's bank of natural assets as well as environment.
"A beginning in this direction has already been made.
MSTC, a PSU under the Steel Ministry, has signed a joint venture agreement with Mahindra to set up such auto-shredding plants.
"The first mechanised shredding plant in India under the joint venture will bring a whole new method of processing scrap from end-of-life vehicles.
"Apart from vehicles, aged 10 years and above, it can also shred other white goods like air conditioners and refrigerators, which after usage for a long period of time become unserviceable for further operation."
He added that the cost of setting up such a plant and centre for collection of scrap-worthy goods was around Rs 120 crore.
Spelling out the benefits of promoting the metal recycling industry, Singh said: "Recycling metals drastically reduces the amount of energy used to produce steel instead of using virgin ore.
"On an average, 74 per cent of energy is saved using steel scrap material versus ore.
This also saves 40 per cent water and leads to 58 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions."