Companies that are making wealth from waste- Business News

April 14, 2017 – 02:58 pm

Rupinder Singh Arora, Chairman, Arora Fibres, sitting at his office in SilvassaRupinder 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/

And 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.

Amit Sengupta Executive Director, VA Tech Wabag"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. Rajashekar

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.

Irfan Furniturewala, Chairman, Hanjer Biotech EnergiesWabag 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."

Mahesh Choudhary, CEO, Microqual Techno, at his office in MumbaiIrfan 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/

Hanjer is turning solid waste into fuel to run power plants

Ever wondered what happens to all that garbage at landfills dotting your city? You'd be surprised. Some of it can actually be recycled to generate power . Waste management company Hanjer Biotech Energies realised that when it kickstarted India's first green power plant in Jalgaon in Maharashtra this year by using a byproduct of solid waste as fuel. The biomass power plant had been closed because of the unavailability of husk rice, the raw material for fuelling the plant, which pushed Hanjer to turn to refuse derived fuel (RDF) from municipal solid waste to generate seven megawatts (MW) of green power.

The concept of converting waste to energy is not new, but Mumbai-based Hanjer plans to take it to a new level following the success of its experiment in Jalgaon. It plans to take over four to five closed biomass power plants in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to generate around 40 MW of green power and then set up a green power plant in Surat, Gujarat that runs completely on fuel from solid waste.

Usually, 20 to 30 per cent of supporting fuel such as coal or oil is used along with RDF to generate power.

The plant in Surat will use green fuel derived from waste from three of the company's solid waste processing facilities in the state to generate 15 MW of power. The plant has the potential to reduce green house gas emissions and will earn carbon credits for Hanjer. "Of the total 9, 100 tonnes of waste which we process, around 18 to 20 per cent is green RDF. With the amount of green RDF produced after recycling the waste, we can run six 15 MW power plants, " says Irfan Furniturewala, Founder and Chairman of Hanjer.

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