Refractory Industry in India: Major Consumers, Evolving Market, and the Future Forecast

Refractory Industry in India: Major Consumers, Evolving Market, and the Future Forecast
It is no longer a hidden secret now that India has entered a phase of rapid growth. In this significant phase, the country is witnessing a never-before growth in a large number of industries and sectors. Infrastructure is one of the most crucial sectors for the economy of the country, and thanks to policy-driven approaches, this sector is registering phenomenal growth. The latest Union Budget has also outlined the roadmap for infrastructural growth creation. Some of the most prominent areas in this regard include the following:
Mass Transport
Mobility, and 
Commercial Real Estate.
Therefore, it is quite logical to state that the growth across these areas will create various beneficial intersectional ripple effects in a wide range of industries across segments. To comprehend the real picture behind this growth, first, we need to understand the role of refractory products and refractory services as the key enablers for the manufacturing of Steel, Cement, and Extension Infrastructure. Here are some of the key highlighters:
As per the country’s policy, the capacity of India’s steel is targeted at 300 MT by the end of the year 2030
Production is anticipated to grow to 230 MT
The cement industry in the country is also expected to grow by 12% against a CAGR of 6% historically.
What it simply means is that a never-before need gap needs to be addressed by the refractory industry in India through essential supplies delivered by the top 10 refractory companies in India. However, this growth is to a large extent dependent upon refractory – the most critical but lesser-known component for the smooth and productive functioning of the cement and steel factories. Refractories or refractory products are the essential lining materials comprehensively utilized for the working interfaces as well as backup zones of furnaces in the making of iron and steel. 
In the same way, refractories also line up the kiln and a large number of other equipment that are used in the manufacturing process of cement. The same holds true when it comes to the functioning of copper. In simple words, it can be concluded that no steel, cement, glass, aluminium, copper or any metal or non-metal that call for an extremely high-temperature process can ever be manufactured without the use of refractories. 

The evolving market for refractory materials in India at a glance 

Currently, there are mainly 2 megatrends in India’s refractory services industry. The first one includes robust and consistent growth in the manufacturing of steel and cement industry, giving preference to the Made-in-India products. This scenario has taken the global demand for Indian steel to the next level while reflecting a notion that the government of India lays on manufacturing and infrastructure. In addition to that, there is also a clarion call for products inspired by the Atma Nirbhar Bharat appeal.
The 2nd megatrend lies in the global de-risking of China when it comes to giving preference to the suppliers of raw materials as well as refractory services and products. The recently occurred geo-political developments in the East Asian Region have also highlighted India as an ideally perfect alternative to China when it comes to achieving or procuring high-quality, cost-effective refractories produced by the top 10 refractory companies in India. Both these megatrends can be considered very enthusiastic and encouraging for the manufacturers of refractory products in India. This has triggered the demand for refractories both at the national and international levels. Subsequently, the consumption of refractory products has gone to an all-time high.
What it simply means is that India is now in a condition to resist the temptation of procuring Made-in-China refractory products as a commodity. The refractory products manufacturers in the country are now investing robustly in capacity building as well as research & development (R&D) while making sure they make use of local and cost-effective raw materials. At this juncture, when India is experiencing overwhelming growth in the refractory industry, experts believe that the country will turn out to be a global player in the coming years. 

What are the major applications of refractory materials?

When it comes to the applications of refractory products, the steel industry accounts for around 65% consumption of the total refractories produced. The cement industry is the next biggest consumer of refractories. Together, these two industries consume more than 80% of the total refractory products produced. Refractory products manufactured by the top 10 refractory companies in India are also used in a large number of other industries including glass, and copper, and also to process the metals such as lead, zinc, and others.

Future of refractory products and the market

Currently, the refractory industry in India is showing an upward curve while performing excellently well both on the domestic as well as global front. However, the country is producing most of its refractory products making use of imported raw materials. Industry experts are of the view that as the refractory industry grows, expands, and stabilizes, there will be a paradigm shift in the pattern of using purely Indian raw materials in place of the imported ones. The second most important thing concerning the future of refractory products and the market is a robust investment made by the top 10 refractory companies in India not only to change the process of manufacturing but also to come up with better and enhanced solutions. Soon, we will see hydrogen being used for the refractory production. 

Concluding Remarks 

Well-known for producing supreme quality refractory products, RHI Magnesita India is a leading supplier of systems and solutions especially built for industrial high-temperature processes that in various conditions exceed 1,200°C in a large number of industries, including steel, cement, non-ferrous metals and glass. Some of the speciality products manufactured and supplied by the company include Isostatically pressed Continuous Casting Refractories, Ladle to Tundish Shrouds, Monoblock Stoppers, Submerged Entry Nozzle/ Submerged Entry Shrouds, Convertor Tap Hole Sleeves, Slide Gate Plates, Nozzles and Well Blocks, Tundish Nozzles, Bottom Purging Refractories and Top Purging Lances, Slag Arresting Darts, Basic Spray Mass for Tundish working lining, Castables, High Alumina Bricks, and Magnesia Carbon Bricks.