With an increasing number of high-rise constructions coming up in cities such as Mumbai and Bengaluru, Rahul Katyal, Managing Director, Capacit'e Infraprojects, says, "Determining the quality of steel is most important as, in the long or short term, inferior quality can lead to failure of the structure."
While RK Pandey, Member-Projects, NHAI, confirms that TMT rebars that do not meet NHAI requirements are rejected straightaway, Mahesh Kumar, Director (Projects), Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation, affirms that only best quality rebars from reputed manufactures are used, eliminating any possibility of distress. He adds that rebars from reputed manufactures such as Steel Authority of India (SAIL), TATA, JSW, Vizag Steel, etc, are used in metro works. Pandey reveals that NHAI has set guidelines to procure only from primary manufacturers such as Tata Steel, SAIL, Jindal, Tiscon, etc.
"In case primary manufactures are unable to meet our requirement, we go in for secondary ones with specific guidelines," he adds.
And, a senior technical executive of PNC Infratech lists SAIL, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, Tata Steel, JSW Steel and JSPL to ensure desired quality and reliability. "Another criterion to select one of the mentioned manufactures would include proximity of their stock yards to project sites, competitive rates, ready availability of required quantity, among other parameters."
The market for rebars is expected to see continued growth for the next three years. An upward trend in consumption is expected owing to government and private-sector spends. At present, manufacturers are said to be adding to their capacities. So, there is no challenge in material availability.
However, Katyal sees pricing as a challenge. "There is quite a lot of fluctuation in steel prices because these depend, to some extent, on various other external factors that are not controlled by manufacturers." To this, Arun Sahai, COO, Ahluwalia Contracts, adds, "In January to March 2018, the prices, for no reason, escalated from Rs 38 to Rs 48 per kg (Rs 38,000 to Rs 48,000 per tonne). Just about now, prices have slightly come down from Rs 48 to Rs 43."
Another challenge, according to Katyal, is the short supply of corrosion-resistant steel (CRS). "Consultants are now demanding anti-corrosion steel for the foundation of high-rises or sites near coastal areas," he says. "Manufacturers need to market CRS, as clients are willing to spend more to buy it."
Meanwhile, Pandey highlights the massive opportunity coming along for TMT rebars. NHAI recently conducted an exercise on the consumption of steel and, in Pandey's words, "Considering the projects lined up for the next five years, the requirement for steel will be around 5 lakh metric tonne, which majorly includes TMT rebars." Now that spells pure gold for steel!
Also read: Are TMT rebars used in infrastructure projects quality-checked by construction companies?
- SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN
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