To tap into intensifying demand and the absence of local manufacturing capacity, the Indian government has drawn up plans to establish a shipping steel container manufacturing centre in the western state of Gujarat, a government official said on Monday, April 12.
The official added that the government has already began a pilot project for manufacturing such steel containers which would be a model for private investors to establish projects in the hub with the government projecting total investments to the tune of $135 million to ride on such container manufacturing units in the region.
It was demonstrated that, not only is there a global shortage of steel containers, but India does not have any domestic manufacturing capacity and is entirely dependent on China for its container requirements which, as per the government, are estimated at 350,000 units per year.
The official said that rerolling mills and furnaces in and around Gujarat are being optimistic to increase capacity to assemble raw material requirements for the proposed container manufacturing units.
The government is also in discussion with global steel companies, including ArcelorMittal, for supplies of special grades of steel needed for manufacturing containers.
Domestic steel major Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) is also exploring the possibilities of establishing a steel container manufacturing unit in collaboration with Paradip Port Trust in the eastern state of Odisha.