Rupinder Singh Arora, Chairman, Arora Fibres, sitting at his office in Silvassa. 'Plastic has been profitable for Arora Fibres: the company hopes to touch Rs 75 crore in revenues this year' Photo: Rachit Goswami/www.indiatodayimages.comAnd recycling one kg of PET saves around 25, 000 BTUs (British Thermal Units), " he says. Plastic has clearly been profitable for Arora Fibres. It tapped the primary market in 1994 to raise Rs 9.6 crore to set up the Silvassa plant and logged Rs 34 crore in revenues in the financial year that ended March 2013. It hopes to touch Rs 75 crore this year. The polyester fibre has a huge market in many industries such as automobiles and is also used as packaging material for beverages, food products, pharmaceuticals, and consumer and industrial products.
But the business has had its ups and downs. Although there are about 20 players who convert nearly 300, 000 tonnes of PET bottles into polyester fibre each year, the industry depends on rag pickers for raw material. Arora says the industry was also hit by an increase in raw material prices and a fall in finished product prices. "The shortage of raw material and the power problems until 2010 in Silvassa have been the reasons why others overtook us in the business, " he says.
"Despite competition and profitability getting squeezed, net margins remain healthy at 10 per cent."
Amit Sengupta Executive Director, VA Tech Wabag, at a water treatment plant near Chennai. 'Recycled industrial and municipal waste water is used as drinking water or ploughed into industry' Photo: H. K. RajashekarLIQUID GOLD
Wabag is helping companies clean up their act by reusing waste water
It is sometimes said that water, and not oil, is the real liquid gold today. Water technology company VA Tech Wabag would certainly agree. The Chennai-based company recycles industrial and municipal waste water either for reuse as drinking water or to plough back for industrial use.
And money has been flowing like water. Executive Director Amit Sengupta says 10 to 15 per cent of the company's revenues come from recycling, but he expects it to account for 50 per cent of Wabag's business in the next 10 years. Last year, the company recorded revenues of Rs 1, 000 crore in India.
Wabag has helped many companies clean up their act. Six years ago, it stepped in to help Indian Oil Corp's Panipat refinery when a farmers's lobby in Haryana raised a hue and cry over the company's waste water discharge. The water treatment company recycled the entire plant's waste water discharge and made it as pure as drinking water. It will build an effluent treatment plant with recycling facilities for Reliance Industries' purified terephthalic acid plant in Dahej and a tertiary treatment plant for the Reliance petrochemicals complex in Hazira.
Sengupta says though a scare resource, water is cheap in India and people will not reuse it until the government comes out with strict rules or water becomes more expensive. So, how much of the waste water is reusable? "The short answer is 'All of it', " says Sengupta. "But it depends on the quality for reuse as per customer requirements."
Irfan Furniturewala, Chairman, Hanjer Biotech Energies, at a waste processing plant in Mumbai. Hanjer plans to take over four to five closed biomass power plants to generate around 40 MW of green power Photo: Nishikant Gamre/www.indiatodayimages.com