Millennium Post

Fly high

Fly high
The global construction industry is constantly eyeing its multi-trillion-dollar business literally, as all structures peak skywards and global players vie with each other in grabbing the biggest slices of this pie. While existing players try to grow their business, entrants are making their presence felt with products that cater to the industry’s needs in its uniqueness. The Indian construction industry is shining bright as increasing investments in residential construction and transport infrastructure is expected to drive growth in India’s construction industry over the forecast period of 2016-2020, according to a study by Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Centre (CIC). 

Consequently, the average annual growth in real terms is expected to improve from of 2.95 per cent in 2011-2015 to 5.65 per cent in the coming five years. Timetric’s CIC forecasts the industry to rise from a value of $428.1 billion in 2015 to $563.4 billion in 2020, measured at constant 2010 US dollar exchange rates. Due to industrialisation, urbanisation, arise in disposable income and population growth, the demand for construction services is set to rise and the governments' efforts to improve India’s residential and transport infrastructure will also play a vital role in supporting the growth. Infrastructure construction is anticipated to be the industry’s fastest-growing market over the forecast period, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9.94 per cent in nominal terms, to value 
Rs 9.5 trillion ($140.1 billion) in 2020.

Meanwhile, concrete was in the limelight at the Concrete show India 2016 which drew over 150 Indian and global companies in Mumbai under one roof in order to showcase latest offerings and technologies in the construction industry. Describing roads, flyovers and affordable housing as need of the hour for society and the country in which the construction industry played a vital role, Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra Minister for PWD, said: “We are planning to bring many game-changer projects in Maharashtra including 10,000 km of roads. This year has witnessed the government for sanctioning Rs 97,000 crore for this purpose including the Nagpur-Mumbai 1,800 km expressway project that will cut down travel to barely six hours from 12 hours, and will see 23 smart cities coming up enroute.” 

Gajanan Kirtikar, an MP, said that the central government has allocated rupees two trillion towards the construction industry including the two-crore housing scheme under which 11 lakh houses will be built in Maharashtra itself. However, the recession hitting the global economy presently was being compounded by China dumping its steel into India, whose own steel industry is suffering locally.
S M Ramchandani, Joint Managing Director, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd. (MSRDC), said that the state government’s prestigious infrastructure projects included a 169 km ring road around Pune in Maharashtra, the Versova-Bandra sea link and railway over-bridges at 87 locations in Maharashtra of which 27 locations were in Vidarbha itself. 

"I found such infrastructure lacking in Uttarakhand, where it was difficult to rescue people during severe floods. There is a desperate need for disaster management,” he recalled. N A Viswanathan, Secretary-General, Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA), said that in per capita consumption, concrete is second only to water, while the construction industry is the second-largest industry, after agriculture, in India. There are about 2,000 concrete plants in India producing about 75,000 cubic metres of concrete every hour, he added. "India’s need for infrastructure development is well supported by the Union government’s mega-push for this sector,” said Yogesh Mudras, ManagingDirector, UBM India, which organized the 4th edition of the Concrete Show. "Roadways and railways to airports along with other smart city initiatives, the last few years have witnessed a phenomenal growth in this sector, leading to world-class facilities coming up across the country. With an outlay of more than Rs 2 trillion for infrastructure in the Union Budget 2016, the sector will witness a huge shift in 2016-2017. The Concrete Show 2016 is already seeing a 50 per cent growth over last year's with many firsts including international pavilions", he added. 

Mudras said this event provided an unrivalled business opportunity for commercial, resident developers, contractors, architects, engineers, distributors, government authorities and state corporations to congregate, interact, network and discuss industry trends, challenges and market insights. "The kind of response this show has received presently, validates the potential of this industry as we are showcasing over 150 Indian and global companies." The Show witnessed a Make In India initiative for the industry through Indian manufacturer Lucid Colloids Ltd becoming the first Indian manufacturer in launching their new product range of Rheoluc CM from Guar Gum and its derivatives for construction materials. 

"These are Galactomannan-based thickeners, Rheology modifiers and water retention aids for various cement and gypsum-based construction materials like tile cements, mortars, plasters, grouts, putties and sealing compounds. They are made from sustainable Indian raw materials and can economically replace imported cellulose-based polymers in several applications," Vinayak Natu, Technical Advisor, Lucid Colloids Ltd., said, adding that the company currently supports 50,000 farmers with a sustainable crop on 3,00,000 acres in the arid and semi-arid zones in west and north-west India, thus creating shared values with the community. 

Sand remains constantly short against increasing demand in the construction industry, and one Indian manufacturer is highlighting an equally-priced alternative to do away the need for having to dredge up rivers and seas for this precious material. “We have developed artificial sand, made from 85 per cent flyash with binders and fillers for strength that is more than even natural sand,” said Dr Bhadresh Bhatt of Neptune Kilns. "It costs the same as natural sand (Rs 2,000 per metric tonnes) and we have made briquettes in shape of ingots for land-filling. We have tie-ups with countries like Germany, China, Bangladesh and even Pakistan to supply them flyash bricks, AACs and other products. We supply machines to utilise flyash and have a development centre in Gujarat producing various construction industry-related products. Our market is mainly domestic (70 per cent) and exports (30 per cent) with a Rs 60 crore turnover, and we envision a future where 100 per cent construction will be dependent on flyash products, due to lack of sand and ban on sand mining.” 

Machinery for the construction industry was in the limelight at the show, where manufacturers highlighted the latest shapes and sizes in tune with the rising/discounted prices. Mitesh Patel of Laxmi En-FAB Pvt Ltd, highlighted machinery for making AAC (Autoclave Aerated Concrete) blocks – which are nine times bigger than conventional red bricks and also excellent building material due to its heat, fire and sound resistance along with being lightweight, eco-friendly, energy-saving, non-toxic and durable. He said prices of these machinery were around Rs 3.5 crores to Rs 10 crores and they are being exported to countries like Dubai and Nepal (which witnessed three recent orders worth Rs 5 crores). 

“We have such 15 machine-making plants in India and you can gauge the demand fromthe fact that our domestic order books include Rs 7 or eight such products worth Rs 30 crores in barely four months,” Patel said, adding “There is great demand in India itself for construction of projects including high-rise buildings that require AAC for which the main raw material is flyash, that is waste from thermal power plants. So this is an eco-friendly product and even the Indian government has emphasised usage of AAC blocks in construction industry. There are 35 to 45 thermal power plants in India using coal and generating flyash upto 2,000 tonnes daily, for which they have no buyers. So we collect flyash from them for free and have to spend only on transporting this thermal plants' by product.” 

He said that while flyash is use 65-70 per cent in production, other raw materials too, in-use for these blocks included: Lime (eight-12 per cent), which provided aeration to the products; OPC 53 Grade Cement (10-15 per cent) as main binder material for strength; Gypsum (4.5 to five per cent), a by-product of fertiliser plants, used for providing long-term strength to the blocks; and Aluminium powder (0.5 per cent)used to react with and silica to make aeration of the blocks and also lighten their weight. RBBIO, a company from Inner Mongolia (China), chose to participate for the first time at the show after hearing much about the vast opportunities in the Indian construction industry. Cindy Zhao, business manager, said “We are highlighting the use of our gum called Xantham, which costs between $2 per kg to $10 per kg, and a new Welan gum (costing $12 to $16 per kg.) for use in drilling in mud, casing and construction cement, dry-mix mortar and concrete admixture, for better salt tolerance, water retaining and high solution viscosity in low concentration.” 

Germany’s Putzmeister was also present here for the first time. “We are into concrete and launched our new product, Batching Plant, which we are showcasing here for the first time. Its German technology producing mixed concrete batches and we are offering a total package with this Batching plant for Rs 40 lakhs. We hope to get 100 odd unit sales worth Rs 50 crore at this show, as we have already received many orders including one from a Pune-based company for ready-mix concrete,” said a representative. 

Our steel wastage on-site is zero, thus ensuring protection of environment. We are also training ITI students through a study course on our machines at our plant in Haryana and being an over Rs 100-crore group company, we are eyeing good business alongside creating awareness and visibility at this show for our company.” Noting that such Shows added to business while also creating an uptake in the market due to lots of construction activity including government contracts for flyovers and bridges, he said the company was indirectly associated in such projects with prominent players. Besides, even in underwater construction like the Rs 1.5 crore project of restoration of pilings for the Vaitarna

Railway bridge near Mumbai. “The Gotthard Base Tunnel – the world’s longest high-speed railway tunnel running through the Alps in Switzerland – was waterproofed by Sika, which was started by Kaspar Winkler in 1910 by beginning with rendering mortar in water proofing the old Gotthard Railway Tunnel,” Dr Parag Solanki, Country Head, Sika India Pvt Ltd, said while highlighting the need for good waterproofing. 

“Alongside water, building structures are exposed to a broad range of forces and strains including mechanical stresses, hot or cold temperatures, aggressive water or chemicals, fire etc. concrete, the construction material of the century, a crucial role in these applications to permanently withstand all pressures on it.” 

Italy’s Bernardi Impianti International, which is into manufacturing asphalt plants, has signed a licence agreement with India’s Speed crafts for manufacture of Asphalt Batching plants in India based on Bernardi’s design and technology. 
Dominick Rodrigues

Dominick Rodrigues

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