“Embracing Sustainable Technology and Alternative Fuels in Equipment Manufacturing: A Roadmap for Economic Viability and Development”

Hon'ble Minister Nitin Gadkari at ICEMA’s Annual Session on CE Industry Shaping India’s Tomorrow

Highlights
  • Building a Developed India: Investing in Infrastructure and Coal for a Prosperous Future – Union Minister Prahlad Joshi
  • Job creation through infrastructure development remains a priority for driving growth - Sanjeet Singh, Niti Ayog
  • Innovation, Investment, Sustainability and Localization: Key Imperatives for Growth in India's Construction Equipment Manufacturing Industry - Perspectives of Industry Experts
The Annual Session of ICEMA (Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association) held on August 1, 2023, focused on innovation, technology and sustainability - the emerging trends in India’s Construction industry, and highlighted the importance of investment and localization for growth.

The Annual Session of ICEMA (Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association)

At ICEMA's Annual Session Hon'ble Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari unveiled the Construction Equipment Technology Vision Roadmap 2035. This roadmap outlines a plan to adopt sustainable practices and alternative fuels in the CE industry, reducing costs and contributing to the nation's development.

Addressing the Plenary Session of ICEMA, Mr. Gadkari laid out a compelling vision for the future of equipment manufacturing and the urgent need to adopt sustainable technology and alternative fuels (such as ethanol and methanol) to bring down operational costs and promote economic viability. He emphasized the significance of cooperation, coordination, and communication amongst stakeholders in successfully implementing sustainable practices.

The Minister highlighted that revolutionary technological advancements are expected to reshape the industry's landscape and urged manufacturers to prioritize the development of cost-effective equipment while upholding worker safety and fostering job creation. By embracing alternative fuels, operational costs can potentially be reduced by 25 to 40 percent, further boosting the industry's competitiveness.

He also underscored the government's commitment to improving road infrastructure, coal mining, airports, and waterways, and stated that reducing road construction costs and enhancing road quality are critical components of the comprehensive development plan.

The Minister stressed the importance of making the best use of available resources while maintaining high-quality standards. He emphasized that this approach would not only enhance economic prospects but also drive demand for equipment in both domestic and international markets.

The Construction Equipment (CE) industry, as envisioned by Minister Gadkari, holds the potential to play a pivotal role in the nation's development, aiming to achieve a developed status by 2047. By embracing sustainable practices and alternative fuels, the industry can contribute significantly to the nation's growth while positively impacting the environment and society.

Minister of Coal, Mines, and Parliamentary Affairs, Prahlad Joshi announced that India has taken a remarkable step towards becoming a developed nation by investing Rs 10 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector during the post-Covid period. Emphasizing efforts to reduce logistics costs and enhance transportation networks, the government is focused on upgrading road, rail, port, and airport infrastructure nationwide. This is evident from the increase in the number of airports to 145, and the impressive achievement of construction of 37 kilometers of roads per day.

The Construction Equipment (CE) industry has emerged as a key player in the country's development, and the government aims to accelerate its growth further to better serve the nation's populace. Acknowledging the rising demand for electrification, Minister Joshi emphasized that the government is committed to doubling electrification by 2030 while simultaneously planning to halt coal imports by 2025-26. Notably, electrification of 62,000 kilometers of railway lines has already been accomplished.

In a significant boost to the coal sector, coal Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) will invest Rs 2.5 lakh crore by 2030. As part of the 'Make in India' initiative, the government has relaxed coal exploration norms, although illegal mining remains a concern. The government assured that punitive actions will be taken against illegal mining activities to preserve the nation's natural resources.

Minister Joshi asserted that India is poised to become the world's third-largest economy by 2030. He urged the CE industry to become better equipped with the latest technologies and products to help build India’s infrastructure and thereby play a major role in its journey towards becoming a developed nation by 2047.

India's ambitious infrastructure investment and coal sector development signify the nation's determination to emerge as a global leader, providing its citizens with a prosperous and sustainable future.

Key Imperatives for Growth and Emerging Trends in the CE Manufacturing Industry
V. Vivekanand, Vice President, ICEMA & Director, Caterpillar India emphasizes the Technology Vision Document's focus on safety and sustainability in infrastructure construction, alongside incorporating cutting-edge global technologies. The Technology Vision Roadmap underscores the need for continual industry progress in safety, solutions, and sustainability, driven by rapidly evolving technology.

Kavan Mukhtyar, Partner at PwC, lauds the ICEMA technology vision roadmap for promoting sustainable infrastructure development in India. However, he acknowledges the challenges of achieving sustainable growth in a fast-growing economy like India. To minimize wastage, equipment needs to be application-centric, with four key pillars critical for successful technology adoption.

Jaideep Shekhar, Co-convener of ICEMA Industry Analysis and Insight Panel & Managing Director Asia/EMEAR at Terex India, highlights the increasing importance of sustainability in the mineral processing industry. Utilizing waste material in road construction, particularly slag usage, is gaining acceptance as a scientific approach to waste management, reducing the reliance on virgin aggregates. Notably, such practices have been successfully applied in projects like the Ludhiana Road construction. Additionally, the manufacturing of sand is gaining momentum, and electrification in the crushing and screening industry is being widely embraced for enhanced equipment utilization. Furthermore, telematics and mobility solutions are on the rise, contributing to improved productivity through better equipment usage tracking.

The construction equipment manufacturing industry in India has experienced robust growth, driven by the increasing demand for infrastructure development. To meet the projected future demand and expand capacity, a strong focus on investment and localization is essential.

Dimitrov Krishnan - President ICEMA & Managing Director, Volvo CE India emphasizes the need for capacity addition in the construction equipment industry due to the planned expansion in infrastructure construction. He acknowledges that Indian CE manufacturers have been exporting to over 100 countries, including advanced nations, but to fully harness capacity, a robust supply chain ecosystem is imperative.

Sanjeet Singh, Senior Adviser-Economics & Finance-II, Disinvestment, Trade & Commerce, G-20, Niti Ayog, Government of India, states that the government's primary focus will continue to be on sustainable development. This approach entails not only the expansion of core infrastructure but also the fulfillment of basic human needs. A key emphasis will be placed on job creation through the development of robust infrastructure projects.

Easwaran Subramanian - Partner, Consulting Deloitte India identifies major projects like the National Infrastructure Pipeline, GatiShakti, and National Monetization Plan as catalysts for Indian infrastructure growth. However, he points out that economies of scale are hindered by higher logistics costs and challenges in export competitiveness.

Anand Sunderasan - Past President, ICEMA, and Managing Director, Ammann India discusses the existing excess capacity in manufacturing, which remains underutilized due to gaps in the logistics supply chain. Additionally, volatility in steel prices impacts profitability and export competitiveness.

V.G Sakthikumar - Convener ICEMA Industry Analysis & Insights Panel & Chairman & Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India acknowledges the engineering competitiveness of the construction equipment sector but raises concerns about high logistics costs and a shortage of skilled workforce in the manufacturing sector. He also points out the challenge of partiality in taxation, impacting the export competitiveness of Indian-made products compared to Chinese products in the export market.

Ramesh Palagiri - Co-convener, ICEMA Brand Building & Communications Panel, Managing Director & CEO Wirtgen India discusses the extensive usage of capital-intensive technologies like milling machines and low-temperature asphalt solutions. For these technologies to succeed, project owners must focus on stringent implementation with a strong emphasis on technology and quality.

The Indian construction equipment manufacturing industry holds great potential for growth, driven by planned infrastructure expansions. However, to fully realize this potential, the industry must address challenges related to supply chain efficiency, skilled workforce, export competitiveness, and technology adoption. Investments in these areas, along with a focus on localization, will be key imperatives for sustainable growth in the sector.
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