Essar Steel has developed an eco- friendly variety of sand for the construction sector which will help reduce the dependence on river sand mining, banned in most states, impacting sectoral activities.
"We have developed an eco-friendly sand from slag, a by- product generated from iron-making furnaces. Slag sand is approved by BIS 2016 for use as fine aggregate in all construction applications.
"The initial and final strength of the concrete made using the slag sand is better compared to natural sand. It can be used in all construction activities and can replace river sand," Essar Steel chief executive Dilip Oommen told PTI.
In view of the ban on sand mining in most states, there is a shortage of availability of quality sand, impacting the construction activities.
In Mumbai alone, the sand requirement is in the region of 1,500 trucks per day. The slag sand supply can address this with seamless supplies, the official said.
The slag sand can also be used in various applications in construction from road-making to buildings and even heavy industrial construction by replacing the natural sand or any other manufactured sand, Oommen said.
The properties of sand are consistent and meet the most stringent requirements, he claimed.
Commenting on the new product, Oommen said, "this is an innovative solution to protect our rivers from sand mining and associated problems. This product is in line with our sustainability target."
The slag sand is being manufactured at its Hazira plant.
The plant is linked to a port, this makes Essar Steel transport the material to any part of the country at a cheaper cost, Oommen said.
Essar Steel has been working on becoming a zero-waste company and developing slag sand is another step in that direction. It is already using coal fines through pellet making and effluent gas in power generation and recycling treated water.
Essar Steel, which enjoys 50 per cent market share in the colour-coated products, focuses on value-added segment and caters to the high-end steel requirements of the construction, energy, defence, automotive, general engineering and yellow and white goods segments.
That apart, the company has also developed an entire range of steel grades required for the defence segment.