History of India’s Steel Industry
What is Steel?
Steel is an Iron alloy which contains around 0.2% to 2.1% Carbon. But ONLY Carbon is NOT the alloying material. The other material is Manganese, Chromium, Vanadium, Tungsten.
Bengal Iron Works Company:
In 1870 a small plant was founded by James Erskine in the jungles of Kulti to make iron. This produced only “Cast Iron”. Starting off as Bengal Iron Works Company, it became Burrakar Iron Works in 1881 and was renamed as Bengal Iron and Steel Company in 1890. Later in 1926 the company again changed its name to Bengal Iron Company Ltd.
Today, TISCO is known as Tata Steel, which has grown to world’s 7th largest Steel Company. In terms of domestic production, Tata Steel is largest company in India. Main plant of Tata Steel is located in Jamshedpur and registered office in Mumbai. TISCO was established by Jamsedji Nusserwanji Tata in 1907 (but Jamsedji had died before the project was completed (1904)). Jamshedpur was founded by Jamshedji Tata and it was recently declared the 7th cleanest city of India for the year 2010 . The name of the town where TISCO was founded by Jamshedji was given by Lord Chelmsford in 1919.
IISCO had set up an iron making plant at Burnpur and the Bengal Iron Company was merged with IISCO in 1936. In 1939, Steel Corporation of Bengal started producing steel at their plant at Burnpur which was amalgamated with IISCO in 1953. Following the enactment of the Public Sector Industries and Restructuring Act in 1978, the Government and the Financial Institutions having transferred all the Shares of the Company to the Steel Authority of India Ltd; IISCO became a wholly owned subsidiary of SAIL from March, 31, 1979.
Steel Plants at Rourkela , Durgapur and Bhilai:
The Rourkela Steel plant was set up in collaboration of German firms’ viz. Krupp and Demag. It started in 1961.
The Durgapur Steel Plant was launched with assistance of a consortium led by British Firms and it started in 1956.
The Bhilai Steel Plant was set up with the technical assistance of Soviet Union in September 1967.
So the correct order of their launching years is : Durgapur>Rourkela>Bhilai.
Bokaro Steel Plant
The fourth integrated plant in the Public Sector Bokaro Steel Plant was set up in collaboration with the Soviet Union. It was originally incorporated as a limited company on 29th January 1964, and was later merged with SAIL, first as a susidiary and then as a unit, through the Public Sector Iron & Steel Companies (Restructuring & Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1978. The construction work started on 6th April 1968.
During the fourth five year plan, new steel plants were started at Salem in Tamil Nadu, , Vijayanagar in Karnataka and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
At present all these plants are under SAIL.