Indian integrated steelmaker Essar Steel, which has an annual capacity of 10Mt/yr, has developed steel grades for land and naval defence applications with a view to tapping into a market worth over US$200 billion over the next half decade.

According to MD & CEO Dillip Oommen, the defence sector is witnessing exponential growth and Essar Steel wants a slice of the pie. “We have developed an excellent track record by successfully supplying steel to many defence projects,” said Oommen, adding that the company’s past record in the defence sector has encouraged the business to expand its product portfolio ‘for this segment’.

With defence in mind, Essar Steel has developed a 1.5Mt/yr state-of-the-art steel plate facility at Hazira. The plant offers three types of rolling capabilities including thermo-mechanical controlled rolling, normalised rolling and temperature-controlled rolling. Two types of heat treatment – quenching and tempering, and normalising – are also offered at the site and this means that the Hazira plant is capable of producing any grade of steel for defence applications.

A research and development facility also at Hazira has been developing defence products for the past seven years, according to Essar Steel.

Hazira in Gujarat state, southwestern India, is a town and transhipment port in Surat district and is one of India’s major ports.

“Essar Steel aims to participate in the indigenisation of products used in naval defence, including naval destroyers, offshore patrol vessels…rocket launchers, floating docks and submarines,” according to Essar Steel’s website, and also expects there to be ‘large export potential’ too.