There is a demand surge for crushers in the iron ore segment: Ranjit Ravindran
What is the demand trend of aggregates in construction market?
As India continues to strive in its long journey to attain development, the construction sector in the country also continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Some of the most mined minerals in the world aggregates serve as reinforcement to add strength to the overall composite material. The demand for these aggregates is expected to increase exponentially over the next few years.

However, the availability of good quality aggregate is still a problem, mainly due to the strict environmental laws that restrict mining. The global aggregates market size was valued at $ 432.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5 per cent from 2019 to 2025. In India, the demand for aggregates will arise from residential and commercial construction as well as large-scale smart city projects funded by the government.

Major policy announcements by the government in the past have given a lot of impetus to the infrastructure industry in India, with announcements and commencement of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, major road projects viz, Bharat Mala project, dedicated railway freight corridors, smart city, metro projects, housing and infrastructure projects that have been the key drivers for the growth of infrastructure sector in the country. Had it not been for the pandemic situation, the total investments in the infrastructure sector in the country would have crossed $100 billion per annum. While it is difficult to give a consolidated figure on the total aggregates produced in the country, it is imperative for infrastructure investment to continue so that the industry continues to be a major growth driver for the Indian economy.

What is the current aggregate and M-sand production scenario?
As per the sand mining framework released by the Ministry of Mines in March 2018, India has 178 M-sand units—of which 164 are in Karnataka alone—that produce 32 million tonne a year.

Road projects including NHAI and PWD projects have resumed in the country amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis across nation. The government allowed the resumption of work on 260 projects out of a total 375. However, owing to the migrant worker crisis and slowing up of demand, growth has been impacted. The moratorium announced by the government to all the businesses across the country has given temporary relief to the ongoing liquidity crisis.

How is the crushers and screens market progressing in India? Which segments drive the demand?
We are currently witnessing a surge in demand for crushers in the iron ore segment. This is primarily due to the increased local steel demand and the auctions of iron ore in 2020. The production of aggregates and M-sand is also in upward direction with investments in roadways, railways, metros and smart cities.

While the demand for newer machines is not that bullish the existing population of machines is fully optimised to undertake current developmental activities in mining and infrastructure. The biggest challenge for new equipment sale is the over leveraged balance sheet of many infrastructure companies, reluctance of NBFCs to fund due to poor CIBIL score of contractors and RBI’s tight guidelines for banking and finance sector.

How do you compare the application trends of various crusher types?
With investments happening across the country in infrastructure, rebuilding and iron ore mines auction, there will be an increased demand for crushers and screen in time to come.

Voltas M&CE division is distributor for Terex Power Screen crushers and screens. The product range includes Chieftain screens, Warrior screens, Metrotrak crusher (jaw), Maxtrak crusher (cone) and Trackpactor (impact crusher). These crushers and screens are used for aggregates, iron ore crushing and screening, coal sizing, garbage handling, sand making and so on.

What are the new technology trends in crushers and screens? Which are the latest products and solutions from the company?
The Horizon range of screens (H Screen) from Terex Power Screen are horizontal screens, ideal for handling high volumes of sticky materials and for the exact, fine sizing demanded in many construction contracts. This H range is ideally suited to applications such as natural and crushed aggregates, coal, iron ore, recycled concrete and asphalt.

With a rich heritage of design and manufacturing excellence, Powerscreen is a leading force in the crushing and screening heavy plant sector across the globe. They cover the full range of material processing requirements with mining equipment, quarrying equipment and mobile crushing and screening machines for the mining, quarrying, demolition and recycling industries. Powerscreen operations worldwide are part of the Terex Corporation. Power Screen crushing and screening solution ranges from Warrior 600 mobile screen to some of the largest mobile crushing plants – the Premiertrak 600 jaw crusher, 1500 Maxtrak cone crusher, and Trakpactor 550SR, which operate in diverse applications.