Foundation equipment segment is back on action with a lot of equipment busy at various project sites across the country. The trend is expected to continue for the next few years. However, a sustainable growth will depend on the government policy in the years to come.
Different from last many years, I can see long piling rigs standing tall and working at many places in Mumbai region at different work sites viz, metro, railway, bridges, high-rise buildings, etc. I guess situation is no different in other parts of the country also. Foundation equipment segment (including piling rigs, drilling rigs, hydraulic and vibratory hammers, etc) is on a turnaround stage after a slow pace in the last few years. With projects are being awarded on time and financial closures also happening, these players are confident of a consistent performance in short to medium term.
Current market trend
For foundation equipment players, the year 2018 is expected to be crucial as many big projects are taking off. Also, projects are getting time-bound with the pressure on contractors to complete the projects on time. In this scenario, speciality equipment such as foundation equipment have a good scope.
DV Brahme, Regional Manager, MAIT India Foundation Equipment, observes, "Currently, there is a steady growth in the market/demand for foundation equipment since last couple of years. We expect this demand to grow in the coming few years, considering the upcoming projects in infrastructure segment. However a lot will depend on the government policy after the 2019 election."
Surajit Mukherjee, Managing Director, Suretech Infrastructure, is optimistic about the prevailing industry scenario as he anticipates, "The infrastructure market overall is booming and thus, there is a huge requirement of all types of construction equipment including foundation equipment. Mega projects are coming up and so the foundation equipment segment is improving."
There are many projects underway that demand all kinds of foundation equipment for these projects. According to Brahme, big infrastructure projects like metro rail, NHAI projects, Railways and ports are currently driving the demand. "New opportunities will arise when power plants and industrial projects come up to satisfy the demand created by the above mentioned infrastructure and metro projects," he adds.
Says Mukherjee, "Foundation equipment are primarily required for bridges, flyovers, ports, jetties etc. Currently, the new opportunities include Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL), Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL), Shivaji Statue, Mumbai Metro Rail Network and several bridges and the road jobs allotted by the Ministry of Surface Transport."
Foundation equipment equipment work at challenging work environments depending on the landscape, rock strata, soil type, water and many such factors. There are many such projects across the country. Brahme highlights, "There are many marine piling projects like Zuari and Dwarka Cable Stayed Bridge, Bhairabi Railway Project North East India, as well as Ganga River Bridge in Bihar, DFCC Corridors in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab wherein MAIT rigs have been used and are being used currently as well."
Mukherjee says, "Zuari Bridge Project comes to our mind immediate as well as Signature Bridge Project and Bandra-Worli Sea Link project. Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) is going to be the most challenging project yet."
Products and features
Hydraulic piling rigs are huge foundation equipment that come in different operating capacities. Brahme elaborates on MAIT range, "MAIT rigs are most preferred and coveted equipment because of ease of operation and maintenance, coupled with unmatched service as well as spare parts support. MAIT rigs are multipurpose equipment that can be used for different foundation techniques like bore piles, CFA piles, diaphragm walls, stone columns, driven piles, cased CFA piles, SDA piles etc."
He further adds on popular models, "Technically speaking, MAIT HR180 and HR260 are the most popular rig models depending upon the soil profile, which are suitable for drilling 2 m diameter and 40 m depth. Currently, there are more than 500 units of HR180 and more than 40 units of HR260 rigs operational with Indian customers."
Vibratory hammers, reverse circulation drill rigs, etc are other equipment range coming under foundation equipment. Mukherjee elaborates on the range, "Our ICE vibratory hammers are known for their robust design and work fast in soft soil and high ambient temperatures. The resonance-free vibro hammer is for noiseless operation and can work next to even dilapidated structures without causing any damage."