‘There are huge untapped opportunities in the crushers and screens market’

The road construction sector, core construction and real estate sectors play a major role in driving the market, says Mr. V. Senthilkumar in an exclusive interview with Equipment India team. What is the total requirement of aggregates for construction in Indian market?

India is one of the largest aggregates market in the world. It is growing very fast and structural changes are happening too. The government’s thrust on expanding road and rail network is igniting the market growth. I estimate the aggregate market to be around 3.4 billion tonne.

What is the current aggregate and M-sand production scenario?

Production of high quality manufactured sand (M-sand) by the plant owners is leading to greater demand and optimisation of plants in the aggregates business. The scenario is governed by a demand and supply cycle. The restrictions on using the river sand is making the customers turn to M-sand. The road construction sector, core construction and real estate sectors play a major role in driving the market. More than 50 per cent of the demand comes from these sectors. The emphasis on creating sustainable projects are on the rise and so, I am sure the demand for quality M-sand meeting specific requirements will also rise. M-sand is produced with the desired particle shape, gradation and silt content with the absence of deleterious materials, by crushing and washing. It is vital to remember that the usage of cement in projects will be reduced by 5 to 6 per cent. While producers promise to supply M-sand to job sites as per the specifications, plant manufacturers are roping in technology to bring in advancements into their sand producing equipment.

What is the market size of crushers and screens in India? What is the current market scenario?

The crushers and screens market in India consists of both organised and unorganised sectors. It is estimated to be close to Rs 30 billion per year. This is especially for aggregates, which is 100 TPH and above. Out of this total figure, track mounted plant is estimated at Rs 6 billion, tyre mounted plant at Rs 10 billion and Rs 14 billion for skidmounted and unit equipment.

Which segments drive the demand for crushers and screens?

The construction and infrastructure development projects such as roads, dams and railways which are lined up play a major role in escalating the demand for crushers and screens. The usage of river sand has been banned in many states and this is also a major factor. I firmly believe that rapid urbanisation also plays a role in this. We are in unprecedented times and so, we have to be open to challenges. In spite of all these driving factors, it is going to a rough path of recovery and Propel is geared up for that.

How do you compare the demand trends of various crusher types?

Every customer has a requirement and the product is expected to meet it. The advantages and disadvantages of each machine type should be researched and understood before selection. We manufacture cone and VSI crusher range indigenously making the best use of technological advancements.Customers have a wide range of crusher types to choose from. The capacity of demand, technology used in the crusher, financial back up of the customer, relevant government policies and quality of the finished product are the various factors that drive the selection. I find that track plants are becoming increasingly popular now.

What are the new technology trends in crushers and screens?

Propel Industries is known for incorporating latest technology to constantly upgrade our products, which in turn benefits our customers. The pandemic has only strengthened our resolve to turn to technological means for our operations too. The market growth of crushers and screens is because of the incorporation of technology and its increased usage. Automation in the mining and construction industry is also a key factor in propelling the industry growth. Track plants operated with electric power rather than by hydraulic means is the latest trend.

What are the latest products and solutions from the company?

Prowash V2.0 is the new product we are going to launch soon. It comes with enhanced performance and reliability. There are four models in this product. They are PW 100, PW150, PW 200 and PW 250. We are introducing Rinser screen to improve the sand washing efficiency in our Vibrating Screen models MVS 1540 2 Deck, MVS 1845 4 Deck, MVS 2060 3 Deck & MVS 2060 4 Deck. We will also be introducing vertical shaft impactor in the models AVVI 55, AVVI 75 & AVVI 100 to handle wet feed materials. This ensures dust suppression at the output safeguarding environment against air pollution. True to our tagline – engineering excellence, we constantly keep updating our products to suit the requirements of the customers and we have a well-equipped R&D lab which aids us in this effort.

How do you look at the long term market opportunities for crushers and screens considering the government’s National Infrastructure Pipeline plan and the policy reforms in mining?

The pandemic has certainly made life tough for all industries. The initiatives announced in the Budget 2021 are welcome but we will have to see how much of it will see the light of the day given the uncertain nature of the virus. The budget focussed on construction and capex-led economic recovery and so, I wish for the best, in terms of business. There are huge untapped opportunities in the crushers and screens market. Recently, the government extended its Rs 111 lakhcrore ($1.5 trillion) National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) to cover more projects by 2025. NIP has now been expanded to 7,400 projects, which means there will be more demand for crushers and screens. The huge investment plan of the Government of India in infrastructure sector is reason enough to cheer up.

This interview was first published in the July 2021 edition of Equipment India.

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