Ferro Alloys are essential ingredients that are added in steel production for de-oxidation, grain size control and also enabling finished steel to have certain properties which are specific to the type and grade. Ferro Alloys also play a role in improving and enhancing the mechanical properties of the steel. The main factors which decide on the kind of ferro alloys demanded are the process of steelmaking and the product quality which is sought to be achieved. It is interesting to note that although Ferro Alloys consist of less than one percent of the total raw materials required for steelmaking, it plays a crucial part and hence demands great attention.
The Indian Ferro Alloys industry is primarily an export oriented industry. The approximate value of exports was USD 870 million in the year 2009-10.
Ferro Alloy units are located mainly in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh. Some units are also located in Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa etc but in scattered numbers. The main ports being used for the export of Ferro Alloys are Kolkata, Haldia and Vishakhapatnam ports.
The production of Ferro Alloys was almost 2.5 million tons in the year 2009-10, of which almost 1.5 million tons comprises that of manganese alloys; second is chromium alloys which was produced almost 0.9 million tons
Industry experts estimate that the production of Ferro Alloys will increase by almost 50% in the year 2010-2011. At the same time, they also expect steel production to go in an almost proportionate percentage in order to create enough export demand for this additional capacity.