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IN PURSUIT OF CUSTOMISED OFFERINGS

RITEN CHOUDHURY
Managing Director
Tata BlueScope Steel Limited

QAccording to you, what is the current scenario of the steel industry in India?

India is the world’s third largest producer of crude steel. The steel industry in India contributes around 2 per cent to its total GDP and employs over 600,000 people. Investments and government’s efforts are in a positive direction. Growing demand for the automotive sector, rapid growth plans in the industrial sector and high spends pledged by the government on infrastructure projects like metros, smart cities etc. are aimed towards boosting coated steel consumption.

Amidst global slowdown, India still remains a bright spot, infrastructure and industrial growth is expected to improve and support the GDP which is expected to grow by 7.6 per cent as stated by IMF. Measures like MIP (minimum import price) and expected introduction of anti-dumping duty on coated steel are all intended towards boosting demand for the domestic coated steel manufacturers.

QWhat is the market size of the color coated roofing industry in India?

Growth in the infrastructure and industrial segment has been a major demand driver for roof and wall cladding industry. Coated steel market for roofing and walling is estimated at around 2 million tonnes in FY’17 and is expected to grow at 5 per cent till FY21 (bare and painted). However, color coated roofing and walling market is expected to grow at 9 per cent till FY’21.

In the market Zn-Al coated steel has witnessed growth due to inter and intra material conversion (galvanized, asbestos, clay etc.). Zn-Al coated steel is gaining acceptance by virtue of its excellent atmospheric resistance in extreme environments and diverse conditions. Aesthetics, superior technology and thermal efficiency are other differentiating factors for Zn-Al GSM coated steel. In a performance comparison, Al-Zn coated 150 GSM material has four times longer life than 275 GSM Zn coated material.

QWhat type of roofing products from TBSL are tailor-made for India? Why?

Steel has become a universally preferred building material due to its strength, versatility, durability and economic value. The use of coated steel for structures, roofing and wall cladding is growing rapidly because of its aesthetic appeal and longer life span. As a result of the metallic coating (Zinc / Aluminium / Zinc–Aluminium alloy) on the base steel, today’s bare or pre-painted metal roof and wall panels resist corrosion and provide longer service life and trouble-free performance. The life span of a coated product is subject to type of metallic coating and its coating mass on both the surfaces.

For large projects, Tata BlueScope Steel’s products like ZINCALUME® steel (Al-Zn alloy coated steel) and COLORBOND® steel (pre-painted Al-Zn alloy coated steel) are preferred materials for cladding applications, when compared to conventional bare and painted galvanized steel. Al-Zn coated steel finds application in light gauge framing system (LGFS) for both ground floor and high-rise buildings, owing to its properties like design flexibility, strength, light weight and corrosion resistance. LGFS structures are strong enough to last for generations. These buildings look like any other and are erected in a much shorter time span. It is also used in rolling shutters, wall partitions, false ceilings, solar structures etc.
Tata BlueScope Steel understands its customer needs and our product offerings are governed by these expectations. LYSAGHT®’s SMARTDEK® system is specific to industrial applications and is one of the most innovative and economic solutions for high rise buildings. Concealed Fix Roofing offers niche solutions to the infra sector such as airports, metros, stadiums and aesthetically distinct architectural steel structure.

The retail business of roof and wall cladding sheets is done under the brand name DURASHINE®. Durashine® Steel is a suitable solution for SME and retail markets, especially for applications like go-downs, resorts, porches, colleges etc.

It offers roof and wall sheet, tile, liner and long line crimp. Durashine is recognized as Asia’s Most Promising Brand by World Consulting and Research Corporation. Most recently, Durashine® is awarded as India’s Number 1 Brand and “Most Trusted Brand” for Best Colour Coated Steel Sheets by International Brand Consulting Corporation, USA.

QWhat are the challenges faced by the roofing industry as of today?

Steel roofing and walling market is majorly driven by growth in large projects, SME and retail. In the current market situation, large projects are still gaining traction and sales is majorly driven by growth in SME sector. However there has been a short term impact on retails sales due to demonetization.

Selecting the right kind of material for roofing and walling industry is of a paramount concern due to availability of material in various forms (high and low quality). Low quality product uses organic pigments and lead content in paint system which is unable to harvest rain water and is hazardous to the environment.

The main challenge is lack of awareness regarding quality and environment friendly products. Entry of substitute products / complimentary roofing solutions like polycarbonate, aluminum roofing and bituminous roofing is making selection of the right product even more difficult for the consumer.

A lot of low end roll formers are entering markets, due to low entry barriers and are unable to provide engineering support like design and detailing. Their credentials, after sales service and long term sustainability are of great concern for delivering quality solutions for the customers. There is an acute shortage of permanent skilled work force and best-in-class installation practices of metal sheets in roofing and walling applications. Superior on site installation processes are essential for longevity of steel structures, adhered by few players in the market. Another big challenge is lack of awareness of safety norms and practices that may lead to unsafe working environment within our society.

QWhat is your take on the latest technology coming into the roofing system?

Tata BlueScope Steel is working towards creating sustainable and innovative solutions through building materials and products that will help reduce adverse impact on the environment. Ensuring a future that is comfortable, not just for people, but, for the environment too. We have introduced COLORBOND® steel with THERMARTECH™ Solar Reflective Technology. This technology helps lower the surface temperature by absorbing lesser heat from the sun ensuring cooler interiors all year round and reduces energy consumption by upto 15 per cent.

Additionally, our paint system is lead free making our profiles suitable for rain water harvesting. Contributing our bit towards sustainability; our Al-Zn coated products are also used for ground and roof top solar mounting applications, contributing towards the sustainable energy efforts in India. Hence, we are in a constant pursuit of innovative products and offer sustainable solutions to our customers through design efficiency, material usage optimization, lead free paint system and recyclable material.  Our building products segment offers concealed fixed roof system that guarantees 100 per cent leak proof roofs. Mobile roll forming machines ensure single length from ridge to eve of over 100 meters enabling faster construction.

QCould you please share more details about your manufacturing facility and its production capacity?

Tata BlueScope Steel as part of its joint venture between Tata Steel and BlueScope Steel, Australia set up its state-of-art manufacturing facility in Jamshedpur in 2012, for making world class coated steel products. The manufacturing capacity of Metal Coating Line (MCL) is of 250,000 tonne per annum and Colour Coating Line (CCL) of 150,000 tonne per annum and is fully equipped with latest Technology from Siemens VAI.

Apart from Jamshedpur, we have 3 more strategically located plants in Chennai, Pune and Bhiwadi for roll forming of coated sheets and other building products. This ensures close proximity to site locations pan-India, enabling us to deliver on-time.

QWhat edge does Tata BlueScope Steel Limited provide over others?

Over the years, Tata BlueScope Steel has grown as a preferred partner for roofing and cladding solutions. Trust is at the core of our business backed by a strong parentage of Tata Steel and BlueScope Steel, Australia where quality and commitment are of great paramount. Quality, durability and aesthetics are the three main pillars of our success. Customization is at the foundation of our offerings that enables freedom to design and deliver any shape, size or requirement for our customer.

Our strong manufacturing capability is backed by our technical expertise and R&D support from BlueScope, Australia. COLORBOND® steel is manufactured at Jamshedpur facility, duly accredited for its quality and performance. Our coating mass control system and uniform paint coating thickness technology are amongst the most advanced in the world.

Moreover, the performance of COLORBOND® steel has been rigorously tested under various climatic conditions. For over three decades BlueScope Steel has monitored the product’s performance across a wide range of climatic conditions using exposure test sites and infield inspections at many sites in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and now in India (more than two years old test sites).

We are also constantly evolving and introducing some of the most leading and innovative solutions in steel roofing, cladding and structural decking.

With over 150 years of global excellence, our building products brand LYSAGHT® is associated with prestigious projects world-wide such as Sydney Opera House, Changi Airport, Tianjin Olympic Stadium, China to name a few. India too boats of major project such as Airports, Rails, Metros, BRTS, large and medium manufacturing facilities, warehouses, stadiums, resorts, schools etc.

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