Crushers and screens market is poised for a demand boom with the focus slowly shifting towards higher capacity machines to meet the growing demand for aggregates. However, environment regulations related to quarrying and mining still pose hurdles in the growth of crushers and screens market.
Construction sector in India is expected to grow at 8 per cent per year till 2025 as per industry estimates. Crushed and screened aggregates are needed in huge quantity with the infrastructure and construction sector on fast-track. Aggregate processing is essential at a matching pace, which needs more crushers and screens. Meanwhile, demand for manufactured sand is on the rise with ban on natural sand mining in many states. All these lead to more quarry operations, driving the demand for crushers and screens in large numbers. Mining is another major demand driver for crushers and screens. While coal mining is looking for a revival with privatisation of commercial coal mining, other mineral segment are also picking up, creating new growth channels for crushers and screens. In spite of these opportunities, the industry has to face the challenges of environment-related issues and policy-related hurdles that may delay the setting up of crushers and starting aggregate mining.
Construction aggregates can be classified as crushed stone, quarry dust, boulder, and gravel and manufactured sand. According to Mahesh Madhavan, Head (Construction & Infra Practice), Feedback Consulting, the overall construction aggregates demand in the country is estimated to be around 4,500-5,000 million tonne. He explains, 'Crushed stone aggregates is estimated at 40-45 per cent of the overall construction aggregates used. Aggregates are used for multiple applications like raw materials for site mix and ready-mix concrete, sub-base for road projects, railway ballast etc, and are available in various sizes from 6 mm to 60 mm. The crushed stone aggregates used for concrete preparation varies from 1,000-1,200 million tonne, while the rest is used directly for infra, road and railway projects as aggregate.'
Average usage varies from project to project since the specification of each project is different. Madhavan elaborates, 'Typically for a two-lane national highway (asphalt), 6,800-7,500 cu m of crushed aggregates are used. Similarly for bridges, canals, irrigation, concrete roads, buildings etc, aggregates are used in the concrete prepared and the quantity of crushed stone varies from 3,000-8,000 kg per cu m of concrete manufactured. The supply is largely regional specific and approximate distance of quarry to supply crushed aggregates to the project site varies from 15 km to 120 km.'
Raj Shrivastav, Executive In Charge - Crushing, Screening and HMAP, TIL sees a fast improving market for aggregates with new construction activity in full swing and several big-ticket infrastructure projects underway. He observes, 'There is a growing demand for bituminous aggregates, driven by the revival of road projects, which opens up the Indian market for portable track and stationary plants. Enhanced public spending in infrastructure, increased private participation, ambitious production targets in the coal mining sector, smart cities initiative and urban infrastructure renewal projects are expected to boost the execution of road projects and create robust opportunities for crushing and screening equipment.'
Says Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director and CEO, Wirtgen India, 'Due to the large number of new road projects being rolled out, there is a sudden demand for construction and road building equipment and with these, the demand for aggregates is also increasing, where greenfield projects and expansion projects from two- to four-laning and four- to six-laning are being taken up. This has boosted the demand for crushing and screening units. The new urban infrastructure projects also add up to the demand for aggregates and consequently for crushing and screening equipment.'
Vadiraj Pappu, Business Head, Terex Powerscreen Business, Mining & Construction Equipment Division, Voltas, elaborates on the growing aggregate market in the country, 'India is one of the largest global consumers of construction aggregate and the new landmark for the world construction industry market. According to an NHAI comprehensive survey report the aggregate production is expected to grow from 1,010 million metric tonne (mmt) in 2000 to an estimated 5,075 mmt in 2020. In anticipation of such a demand, the mining and quarrying industry is focused on adequate methods to produce boulders. All major construction machinery manufactures have started manufacturing machines in India under the 'Make in India' initiative basis its demand over the last decade.'
Madhavan provides a break-up of the market, 'The crushers and screens market for 2017 is estimated at ~1,700-1,800 units. Crushers account for 70-73 per cent and screens 27-30 per cent. Stationary crushers account for 23-25 per cent, while wheeled 55-57 per cent and tracked 20-22 per cent of the overall crusher market.'
Shrivastav elaborates on the market trend, 'Over the past year, demand exceeded supply and prompt delivery of equipment has been a challenge. The growing demand from customers for faster deployment has led to a rise in the demand for portable and tracked units. Earlier, the demand for stationary equipment was higher as compared to portable or track-mounted plants due to low operating and running costs. However, in the current market scenario, portable and track-mounted plants are gaining preference with road contractors, while most commercial aggregate producers still prefer stationary plants.
According to Palagiri, the market is now predominantly in the roads sector and there is good demand for crushing and screening plants. The mining sector is slowly picking up. 'We expect the demand to grow at 25 per cent every year,' he states.
Pappu elaborates on the crusher market trend, 'Crushing and screening process is done in three ways: static plants, semi-mobile and track mobile. Commercial aggregates are produced by stationary as well as wheeled crushers. To meet road and infra specifications (EnF etc), three-stage plants should be installed. Most of the infra tenders recommend vertical shaft impactors (VSIs), which are also used to produce crushed sand. Track plants are well suited for road projects to manufacture GSB and WMM. Approximately, 60 per cent of total crushers sold in India are stationary, 30 per cent wheeled and 10 per cent are track-type.'
Mobile vs Stationary
Shrivastav brings forth the differences between portable/track and stationary plants. 'Since portable/track plants are of a standard design, they are delivered faster than stationary plants. Portable/track plants can be deployed on site much faster than stationary plants. Portable/track plants by virtue of faster deployment time can be quickly transported between different sites, whereas a stationary plant does not have this advantage.'
Says Pappu, 'Stationary crushers and screens are erected and commissioned for long-term projects (above four years) that need a lot of civil work like foundations, and use external source of power (genset). It takes 1-2 months for completion for installation. Tracked mobile plants need no civil work, work on inbuilt powerpack (engine) - just get down from the trailer, fuel it and start. Plants could work in full load capacity within 3-4 days.'
On the applications, he adds, 'Stationary crushers enjoy most of the road and infra project market. Mobile range crushers are occupying more market share than before. In other sectors like minerals viz iron ore, limestone, bauxite etc, track machines have found good response. At the end of the day, 'the owning and operating cost' is the governing factor while choosing the type of crushers.'
Piero Guizzetti, CEO, MB India sees an unparallelled mobility, especially in attachment crushers and screening buckets as they are able to work directly at site in difficult-to-reach areas. He adds, 'Furthermore, they eliminate the need for auxiliary systems like conveyor belts and minimise transportation requirements to and from the site. This is all done without compromising on the durability and strength of the crushing/screening unit as MB products are made exclusively with the best-in-class materials including Hardox. With MB products, one can finish a job and move immediately to the next site. With static crushers, one has to consider dismantling/re-assembly operations, identify land suitable for static crusher units, which require ample land space.'
Product and technology trends
Crusher and screen manufactures are looking at India as a key market for business growth. TIL has a strategic alliance with the Astec Aggregate and Mining Group (AAMG), USA, and offers a range of globally acclaimed crushing and screening solutions from its Kharagpur works in West Bengal. Shrivastav states, 'The hallmark of TIL remains in providing innovative solutions for the material handling, mining, quarrying and construction industries. Our new technologies on offer include hydraulic jaw crushers with hydraulically operated toggle and CSS setting. These are used in both our portable/track plants and stationary applications. We also offer high frequency screens of unique design with efficient separation and mechanism for dry processing of M-sand, especially in areas where there is a water shortage. Bag house provided at the engine suction of certain models of track plants prevents contamination of the engine air intake and in turn enhances performance of the engine.'
Palagiri elaborates on Wirtgen's product offerings and solutions in crushing and screening, 'The product portfolio of Kleemann comprises a varied range - MOBICAT range of track-mounted jaw crushers, MOBIREX range of track mounted impact crushers, MOBISCREEN series, which are the track-mounted screening plants, and the MOBIFOX/MOBICONE range of secondary screening units. Each of these variants comes with further different models and the complete range of track-mounted crushers varies from 150 TPH to 1,500 TPH in jaw, cone, impactor and screens.'
Pappu explains, 'Voltas has been the authorised channel partner of Terex Powerscreen in India for the last 17 years. We are representing track mobile crushing and screening plants, which are useful for various segments viz road and infra, iron ore, bauxite, limestone, coal etc. We take care of sales, service and spares support for these products. Apart from regular range of crushing and screening equipment (capacity: 200 TPH), we have been successful in launching 300 TPH range in 2017-18. Warrior range of track screens has proved well in river bed applications to produce natural GSB and sand screening.'
Guizzetti sheds light on his newly launched products, 'We have recently launched our drum cutter product range in India. This enables us to complement our portfolio by also catering to trenching, digging and some tunnelling requirements. Our drum cutter is the only product in the world that has a dual drive motor capable of shifting power based on the resistance encountered by the two drums. Furthermore, our drums are independent of each other, which in turn ensures that operational costs and downtime are minimised.'
He further adds, 'At MB, we are seeing an ever-growing appetite for our solutions which can be deployed in any site, irrespective of location or conditions. Road construction has picked up significantly and we have our machines working on a large number of projects under various government schemes.'
Crushers find application mainly in construction and mining. Shrivastav says, 'Portable/track crushers are primarily seen in quarrying and aggregate industry, where the required capacities are small to medium. They are also used in iron ore mining plants of smaller capacities. For larger capacities, stationary plants are preferred, mainly in mining, and nowadays in construction projects as well.'
According to Pappu, mobile plants are the best suited for road and infra projects where 'TIME' is the most valued parameter. He adds, 'To meet the urgent needs and to complete projects well in the time frame, one should go for mobile. Static plants (semi-mobile) are equally suited for commercial aggregate needs. To meet the designed aggregate specifications from all the angles, these crushers are must today. In the current market, hybrid type of crushers (amalgamation of track mobile and stationary plants) are getting popularity to meet speed and quality of the end product.'
On the demand from manufactured sand segment, Shrivastav adds, 'The National Green Tribunal has banned natural sand mining in most places in India and costlier fuel has made the process more expensive too. However, there are alternatives available today to replace river sand, primary among them being manufactured sand (M-sand) and plaster sand (P-sand), both of which are witnessing a sharp rise in demand. Going forward, M-sand and P-sand will drive the demand for crushing and screening solutions in a big way. The sand manufacturing process from aggregates involves all three stages of crushing - primary, secondary and tertiary - apart from special
fine screening and washing/de-watering application.'
Opportunities and challenges
While certain policy initiatives such as GST played positive on the industry, environmental regulations on quarrying and mining have some negative impact on the market in terms of delay in projects. According to Shrivastav, GST has brought homogeneity and standardisation to the taxation structure and in the medium to long term will bring about stabilisation and enhanced efficiency to the industry. Although the initial capital investment will increase slightly, the purchaser can still avail of input tax credit. However, the taxation structure is definitely simpler and more transparent post GST.'
Says Pappu, 'Reduced GST from 28 per cent to 18 per cent for construction equipment is well accepted in the market. We can notice rise in volume of units sold after a small dip.'
Setting up a quarry with crushers and other machines installed has to go through environment-related policy regulations. Madhavan explains, 'To obtain a quarry licence, there is a regulation from state pollution control board that, the quarry should be 500 m away from human habitation and 200 m from national and state highways. Prior to April 2014, the quarry was auctioned for a contract period of one year, but as per Mining Regulation law, this law is amended for a long term leasing period of five years which was implemented from financial year 2015-16. A few quarries also have a leasing period varying from 10 to 20 years on case to case basis.'
Grant of mineral concession for major minerals are governed by the rules and regulations formulated by Central Government and are therefore the same throughout the country.
Madhavan adds, 'Long process in getting the mining lease renewed affects the projects, few process involve - renewal of mining lease, maximum area to be granted under mining lease, periods of mining lease granted or renewal. Also, renewal of these mining leases at times take longer periods owning to environmental clearance, etc. It is difficult to devise any measures to work around these issues at least in the near future.'
According to Guizzetti, the not yet resolved ban on mining activities continue to be a restraint, particularly in some states, on the growth of crushing and screening equipment. 'Awareness on the recycling possibilities related to inert and waste materials is also growing but has a long way to go,' he adds.
Speaking on the challenges, Pappu says, 'Though the demand is increasing for aggregate supplies, environmental and pollution clearances from state/statutory bodies are taking too much time, hence hampering project schedules. As the crushers are grouped as CAT 'C' in financiers' language, prolonged funding process is a challenge. Now, sub-contractors are a bit hesitant to come forward to invest as some times, cash flow is the major issue.'
In spite of the challenges, opportunities are aplenty for crushers and screens as Pappu elaborates, 'Notably, huge investments (over Rs 6 trillion) are pulling into the construction industry. A push from the government in the form of major infrastructure project announcements such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Samrudhi Yojana etc that are being awarded under National Highways Development Programme (NHDP)
are increasing the opportunities and activities the construction sector in
Considering the amount of infrastructure development activities anticipated in the coming days, market for aggregates remains positive, which will augment the growth prospects of crushers and screens. Says Madhavan, 'The crushers and screens industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11-13 per cent till 2021-22. Growth in roads, railways, irrigation and other infra projects will drive the material processing equipment industry. Tracked crushers demand will largely increase from road segment. Lifting of ban on iron ore mining in Goa and Karnataka will boost sales for tracked crushers and screens. Real estate has always been a major consumer of aggregates. Since the slump in real estate from 2014, the demand has slowly shifted to road projects. Revival of real estate sector will create huge aggregate demand. Wheeled crushers are expected to be used more to meet this demand, going forward.'
Shrivastav says, 'The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has set an ambitious target of laying 45 km of roads every day. Other new initiatives, for e.g., in smart cities, railways, metro, rural and urban housing, etc, apart from NHAI projects, will present an increased requirement of aggregates and many new opportunities for crushing and screening solutions. While initially, 150-200 TPH plants were the highest selling segments in the market, currently 200-300 TPH capacity plants are in demand. However, to cater to larger requirements, customers are showing interest in higher capacity plants as well. Going forward, we see the market moving towards plants in the range of 350-500 TPH.'
Pappu sees a positive market outlook as he says, 'Hectic project management, equipment hiring and sub-contracting are the areas that construction companies look at.
By implementing adequate technology in all steps of processes, one can achieve the set target well in advance without sacrificing safety, ecology and greenery.'
Growing aggregate demand is putting more pressure on quarrying as the need of the hour today is producing aggregates in larger quantities to meet the escalating demand from construction sector. However, environmental regulations and policy-related hurdles are delaying the process of setting up machines and start quarry operations. One way to minimise the production loss due to the delay is to set up bigger capacity crushers and do the mining of aggregates in large quantities to meet the increasing demand for aggregaes.
CONSTRUCTION AGGREGATE MARKET FACTS
Construction aggregates can be classified as crushed stone, quarry dust, boulder, and gravel and manufactured sand.
The construction aggregates demand is estimated to be around 4,500-5,000 million tonne.
CRUSHERS AND SCREENS MARKET FACTS
The crushers and screens market for 2017 is estimated at ~1,700-1,800 units.
Crushers account for 70-73 per cent and screens 27-30 per cent.
Stationary crushers account for 23-25 per cent, wheeled 55-57 per cent and tracked 20-22 per cent