Jamshedpur: Given the growth of the domestic steel sector, India is likely to overtake the US to become the third-largest steel producer in the world in the next couple of years, the Executive Director of the Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) Ronald E Ashburn said on Sunday.

“India will eclipse the US in 2-3 years in steel producing after China and Japan," he told a press conference here on the eve of launch of the inaugural AIST International Steel Academy (ISA).

At present, India produces 70 million tonnes of steel per annum out of its installed capacity of 80 million tonnes, he said.

With an abundance of iron ore and coal, the country could secure the second spot by 2015-16 if it achieves the targeted 145-150 million tonnes of capacity addition by that time, Ashburn said.

India, which was the sixth-largest steel producer about three years back, has since surpassed South Korea and Russia to become the fourth-largest steel-maker in the world, Ashburn said.

He, however, admitted to infrastructural constraints with respect to land, power and water supply despite the abundance of raw material.

While iron ore available in the country is of low grade, he noted that India was the fourth largest iron-ore mining country after China, Japan and Australia.

Ashburn said in recent years, AIST, an international non-profit technical association of 14,000 professional and student members from 70 countries representing iron and steel producers, has implemented initiatives such as ISA to export the AIST brand of networking and education to global steel markets.

(Agencies)