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Sponge iron production volume in India FY 2012-2020

The production volume of sponge iron in India accounted for more than 34 million metric tons at the end of the fiscal year 2019. This volume was projected to reduce to almost 28 million metric tons in the fiscal year 2020. Since the financial year 2003, India was the world’s largest producer of sponge iron.

Production from iron ore

Sponge iron is produced by treating iron ore with coal at a temperature below the melting point of iron. This process results in the formation of sponge iron that is spongy and metallic in nature. During the process of manufacturing sponge iron, the goal is to remove oxygen from the iron ore. It is also known as direct reduced iron. Most sponge iron producing units were in the mineral-rich states of India. The country produced more than 80 percent of the sponge iron by coal-based units.

Production from natural gas

Another method to produce sponge iron was by using natural gas instead of iron ore. This method produced half the amount of carbon dioxide in comparison to coal-based method because natural gas has less carbon in comparison to coal. In the financial year 2019, the production volume of sponge iron by natural gas unit was at 14 percent. The amount of natural gas required in steel sector was increasing year by year.

Production volume of sponge iron in India from financial year 2012 to 2020

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

FY 2012 to FY 2020

Supplementary notes

*Provisional value from April-December 2019.
Values have been rounded.
Note: India's financial year begins in April and ends in March. For example, FY 2016 started in April 2015 and ended in March 2016.
Note: Values from previous reports have also been included.

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