We are heading towards more compact and modular designs that suit different geographic regional demands in the country, says Saumil Sharma, Associate Vice President - Enterprise Sales, CDE Asia. Excerpts from the interview...
There has been some positive vibes in the CE sector overall. Has this started reflecting on the demand for washing equipment?
Policy changes do take time to manifest themselves in the form of improved business conditions. A lot of focus was put on economic growth by the current government. However, impetus to the ailing infrastructure sector and a boost in lending are yet to show progress on ground in terms of the infrastructure sector growth revival.
We hope to see good governance and policy streamlining going into the future. Washing equipment market growth is married to the core sectors of the economy - infrastructure, power, railways, mining, etc. Any growth in these reflects as a better market for our equipment.
What is the overall demand-supply scenario for sand washing and classifying systems?
M-sand definitely has more acceptance among the construction sector and other core infrastructure sectors. But, it is yet to receive serious attention from the Government of India. It is the most practical remedy for fulfilling shortage of sand supply, which is being fulfilled by illegal river sand mining. Overall, we are in a better washing equipment market as compared to last year and we are hopeful that with the efforts of the stakeholders and promoters of M-sand in India, there is only a bright future for material washing industry.
What are the trends in the end-user segments?
A lot of end-users are playing it safe and waiting for the M-sand sector to establish. However, as witnessed in the West and other regions of India, first mover advantage has always paid off well. So, our existing customers in each region, including end-users that have CDE equipment or are purchasing sand from CDE equipment owners, are well positioned to take on the future challenges that the sand market is going to present in the not-so-far future.
What are the major challenges in the current scenario?
Under the economic slowdown, some of the basic fundamentals of growth were shaken to great weakness. Factors such as lack of funding, weak support to infrastructure growth, cloud of uncertainty over environmental issues, typical local requirements with varying qualities of raw materials (especially sand), resistance against policy shift from conventional limited resources such as river sand to more sustainable and environment-friendly alternatives such as manufactured sand or crushed washed sand, etc are the challenges that the new government has to tackle and find long-term solutions within a reasonable timeframe.
Will there be any more capex?
We have utilised the downturn period to augment our manufacturing capabilities. CDE has inaugurated a new manufacturing facility in India and developed a new R&D platform to develop new Combo and Oremax models for serving future customer needs. So, capex has been made at an opportune time and we are ready to cater to an increased demand in washing equipment.
How environment-friendly are your systems?
Our washing equipment is an absolute ´saver´ as it recycles 90 per cent of the water required to run a plant back into its washing cycle. Therefore, it uses a fresh supply of a meagre ~10 cu m per hour of water in the new models as against traditional systems consuming 10-15 times more water. This is what makes the washing equipment the most eco-friendly sand washing system anywhere in the world. The other big multiplier is low power consumption - at just 80 kW maximum power rating for the new models ûour washing equipment is the most power-efficient clean energy machine, elevating the ´green´ quotient of material washing business to a different level.
What are your future plans?
We have entered into the space of ´construction and demolition (C&D) waste recycling´. With limited resources and rapid pace of urban development, it is imperative to bring C&D waste back into use to meet the gap between the raw material demand and supply. We are hoping to see a policy shift towards enforcement of C&D recycling to encourage more sustainable forms of infrastructure development in India.