India with a GDP of around USD 2 trillion loses as much as USD 100 billion (more than Rs 6 lakh crore) every year on account of corrosion, which can be checked by using zinc to galvanise steel structures.
“India loses around 4-5 per cent of GDP annually on account of corrosion losses,” Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) CEO Sunil Duggal told PTI.
The West, ahead of India in terms of infrastructure, mandates use of zinc for galvanising steel structures in bridges, highways, public utilities, metro stations and airports, among others, to make them long-lasting and robust, he added.
Citing examples of the Athens bridge in Pennsylvania (US) and the Curtis Road bridge in Michigan (US), Duggal said structures utilising galvanised steel rebars have much longer life span than the conventional ones.
Galvanised rebar can withstand chloride concentration at least 4-5 times higher than the black steel rebar and remains passivated at lower pH levels, substantially slowing the rate of corrosion, he noted.
Duggal said HZL in association with International Zinc Association (IZA) is organising a two-day international galvanising conference in the national capital, which will have speakers from JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Maruti and Essar, among others.
The meet will deliberate on the potential zinc and steel market, role of zinc in infrastructure and its application in emerging sectors like automobiles, rail tracks as well as the galvanisation of rebars to strengthen structures, particularly in coastal areas.
Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta group company, is investing over Rs 8,000 crore in expansion of its mines and smelting operations. The company is set to enhance its mined metal production to 1.2 million tonnes per annum.