“Industry is opting for retrofitting and revamping of older equipment”

Tighter implementation of environmental regulations in India is to drive demand and boost revenue growth for air pollution control segment.
Tighter implementation of environmental regulations in India is to drive demand and boost revenue growth for air pollution control segment. A surge in the infrastructure sector is also likely to increase the demand for air pollution control equipment (PCE). Naveen Sadhu, Global Head (S&P) Environment Business, Thermax Ltd sheds light on prospective opportunities that will emerge through technological developments in pollution control systems like DeSox, DeNox, and retrofit & revamp of existing equipment.
 
Do you agree that the recent regulations have paved the way for faster adoption of new technologies and more business?
Yes, due to recent regulations we have seen the level of enforcement at a much faster pace, leading to implementation and adaption of new and proven technologies.
 
With revised regulations and strict implementation timelines announced by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for particulate and gaseous pollutants, Thermax provides industries end-to-end solutions which include products like flue gas desulphurisation systems, dry and wet electrostatic precipitators, pulse jet and reverse air baghouses,  combo designs (ESP and Fabric filter combination), wet scrubbers etc.
 
One of the options chosen by the industry is opting for a retrofitting and revamping of older equipments to meet the new emission regulations, as it minimises the downtime and is cost-effective as compared to installing a new equipment. However, it is essential to check the condition and suitability of the existing equipment. Thermax has an experienced team for such business segment who carry out the feasibility analysis for our customers.
 
We are catering to industries where emission norms have become more stringent­ — both due to government regulations as well as growing awareness to have a clean operating environment, leading to faster adoption. One can say that the implementation of the norms has now caught momentum in the country, and it has also led to increased awareness. 
 
What have you observed in air pollution control technology in the last five years?
We have seen an upward thrust in the acceptance of pollution control equipment, and many companies have considered air pollution control as part of their corporate policies. The pace of implementation of these technologies has also improved and are deliberated upon while discussing investment plans.
 
What special services are offered by you?
We at Thermax, have services to revamp & retrofit the old equipment, to meet the latest emission norms. After a proper health assessment check of the existing equipment, we offer replacement of only the technological items, keeping the outer body intact which minimises the overall downtime of the equipment, with lesser cost of investment and minimum lead time; making the overall offering competitive. Our design also has the flexibility to mount the new equipment on the existing civil footings to a large extent.
 
Apart from offering turnkey solutions in the air pollution space, we provide services in the field of operation & maintenance, annual service contracts and spares management. We have a vast service network located in the geographical hubs, ensuring faster reach to our customers.
 
What have you done to get hold of the market? 
Thermax has always been at the forefront of technology. We have in the past absorbed many American and European technologies and have engineered it to suit Indian conditions, making them competitive for the Indian market. With this, we have been able to gain a significant market share in the industrial air pollution control segment in India which includes industrial and captive power plants, cement, steel and other process industries.
 
We offer products for the small, medium as well as large capacities in the field of air pollution control. While major projects are tailor-made, many products have been standardised based on application, making the project deliveries faster and enabling quick installation. For such standardised products, we market them with our channel partner network who are spread across the country reaching out to customers at a faster pace.
 
With the new norms in place now for  SOx  abatement, we are currently selectively bidding for  flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) projects in  utility sectors  in the country.We have also recently been awarded 2 x 500 mw FGD project by one of the Indian Government companies for their existing power plant in the state of Jharkhand.
 
How crucial is the vendor network for a company like you?
The supply chain management or a vendor network is a nerve centre for any organisation. At Thermax, we have a global network of vendor partners who are geographically located, enabling us to deliver at a much faster pace to our customers.We also have a dedicated air pollution control facility based in Solapur, Maharashtra.
 
What future does the air pollution control industry hold?
The global air pollution control market is expected to register a considerable growth rate, owing to increasing air pollution index, coupled with growing awareness among the people about the harmful effects of air pollution and the need to conserve the environment. Air pollution creates an undesirable impact on the ecosystem and also is a cause of many fatal diseases. Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation are the main reason for air pollution. Increasing need to control pollution created by these factors are driving demand for the target product, which in turn is expected to drive the growth of the global air pollution control system market.
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We have seen an upward thrust in the acceptance of pollution control equipment, and many companies have considered air pollution control as part of their corporate policies. The pace of implementation of these technologies has also improved.
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The global air pollution control market is expected to register a considerable growth rate, owing to increasing air pollution index, coupled with growing awareness among the people about the harmful effects of air pollution.
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