There is a tremendous potential in the Indian market due to rise in demand for potable water, says D Mazen Bachir, Managing Director, Passavant Energy and Environment, a German subsidiary of Drake & Scull International (DSI), based in Frankfurt.
Could you shed some light on the water & wastewater treatment projects that DSI has recently won in India?
Drake & Scull International, through its wholly-owned German subsidiary, Passavant Energy & Environment, recently won two contracts worth AED 103 million for the construction and operation of two wastewater treatment plants in India. Passavant will undertake design and construction, including installing, testing, commissioning and 5-year operation of two sewage treatment plants each with a capacity of 95 million litres per day (MLD) based on the Activated Sludge Treatment Process. The plants are loca¡ted in the North and South Zones in Amritsar, Punjab. In addition, Passavant has already started working on two key wastewater projects worth AED 50 million in the state of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The company is building a Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 4.5 MLD for Ford India in Ahmadabad, Gujarat. On the other hand, it has undertaken work for the construction of a complete sewerage system of 80 kilometres in the town of Nathdwara, Rajasthan.
What were the key challenges in executing these projects?
The foremost challenge for DSI is to provide safe and affordable portable water for a large population. There are two basic requirements for utilisation of wastewater as a solution for water shortage problems while minimising the health and environmental risks: (1) the need for comprehensive wastewater collection systems, and (2) the need for well-operated wastewater treatment facilities. There is also a third requirement, namely securing users for the treated effluents.
Thus, to maximise the contribution of wastewater reuse to the total water availability, the generated wastewater needs to be collected, treated, and used as three ´pillars´ of wastewater utilisation. This change of mindset is probably the biggest challenge we face while executing these projects.
What are the opportunities that Drake & Scull sees in India?
With some of the prestigious projects under our belt, we have proven our capabilities for a large and diversified market such as India. In the recent past, we have undertaken major projects in various sectors of the country in line with our expansion plans within India. We are currently working on projects worth nearly AED 700 million in India and are positive about our prospects for the remainder of 2014.
Recently, DSI secured an AED 304 million deal for the construction of a new 400 kiloVolt (kV) Double Circuit (DC) electrical transmission line for the Uttarakhand Power Sector Investment Program-Project in Uttarakhand, India. The current value of our power projects in India exceeds AED 365 million where we have already earned our reputation by handing over a thermal power project and the coal conveyor system in Orissa and a solar power project in Tamil Nadu.
In terms of MEP services, we have earned an enviable reputation through our work on landmark projects like the Lodha World Crest Tower and the New Cuffe Parade in Mumbai. We are also keen to demonstrate our expertise in the rail sector and are bidding for upcoming key projects in the Indian rail networks.
What were the primary reasons that made you choose these projects?
India has the second largest population in the world and the demand for clean potable water has skyrocketed in the last decade. With greater awareness of the limited water supplies, there is an appreciation for reusing water rather than wasting it. The water and wastewater treatment sector is currently witnessing a significant growth in India that has led to an increase in demand for highly advanced wastewater treatment plants and waste-to-energy technologies. We see many opportunities for Passavant Energy & Environment in the water and wastewater sector as we foresee a tremendous potential in the Indian market due to rise in demand for potable water.
As pioneers of waste-to-energy plants in the Middle East, where we have achieved Zero Liquid Discharge at our waste treatment plant projects, we believe that we have the right technological solutions and expertise to address the specific requirements of the Indian sector. This is the primary reason why we have ventured into the Indian subcontinent and (we are) pleased to have secured such important projects.
How will Drake & Scull´s expertise make these projects a success?
Drake & Scull has a well established presence in the Indian MEP segment and has proven our capabilities in the thermal and solar energy segment. Our core MEP expertise, combined with Passavant´s renowned, efficient and ultra modern water treatment and waste-to-conversion technologies give us the primary edge in this segment. Passavant Energy & Environment is a leading specialist in engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and provider of turnkey wastewater treatment plants, drinking water structures and industrial process water plants.
Our expertise lies in developing and providing unrivalled technologies and processes in municipal wastewater treatment, sludge treatment, water treatment and industrial wastewater treatment. The company´s unique in-house developed world renowned sludge digestion technology is a pioneering system for the production of usable materials from sewage sludge. As established leaders in the field, we will ensure that these projects turn out to be major successes.