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Construction Technology: The need of the hour!

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In the past, the construction industry has been extremely reticent in adopting technology. Prime hurdles include education among skilled labour, on-the-job training, use of manual labour instead of machines, and lack of enforceability.

But technology is now transforming the way buildings are designed; modular construction or even advanced technology like 3D printing, robotics, AI, machine learning, etc, can deliver business benefits.

Evidently, technology is here to stay, and we have to ensure that we can utilise it to accelerate what we are intending to do.

Construction World Magazine under the aegis of ASAPP Info Global Group and FIRST Construction Council, is organising the CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT

on July 22-23, 2021, virtually to identify proven, innovative and globally established construction technologies. CW provides you with an opportunity to join an exclusive community of like-minded professionals, discovering how technology is being used to improve the design, delivery, and operation of construction projects in India.

We are curating three exclusive panel discussions, interactive keynotes, and expert interviews helping you to better focus your day to understand how modern technologies are catalysing productivity, innovation and quality.

Here are highlights of the two-day summit:

  • Avenues for interaction among stakeholders that can open up new areas for collaboration and will facilitate conversion of ideas into market-ready products.

  • Platform to witness paradigm shift in the manner in which construction is perceived in the country.

  • Inviting start-ups to present their solutions at our INNOVATION LAB.

DAY 1: 22 JULY

SMART DESIGN with BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has made a revolution in the way we design, construct and manage our project?? life-cycle. BIM has far and reaching consequences on both building procurement and infrastructure. This recent emergence constitutes one of the most exciting developments in the field of the Built Environment. These advances have offered project teams multi-sensory collaborative tools and opportunities for new communication structures.

DAY 1 of the Construction Technology Summit will focus on BIM implementation, its benefits, and application to project life-cycle and tools, technologies, and techniques in BIM.

Here, Dr. Amarnath CB, President, BIM Association of India & Head-BIM Strategy, Larsen & Toubro Construction, will deliver an industry keynote on ??020 ??21: The year for Data-Driven Efficiency??/strong>. Data-driven design can increase productivity and drive efficiency in project management processes. What becomes clear is that the real value relies on the data about all relevant building information which are integrated into the BIM model. A quick look through on how data-driven approach adds to the efficiency of design.

This will be followed by a technology keynote by Kalyanaraman Vaidyanathan, Director??usiness Development, Bentley Systems, on ??onstruction 4.0 – Data Driven Project Controls powered by BIM??

This will be followed by power-packed panel discussions as below:

Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Design, Construction, and Operations
This session fulfills the vital task of bringing together experts from industry, practice, and academia to debate and to develop innovative solutions, and predict future trends.

  • Implementation of BIM and Virtual & Design Construction on the Cloud

  • BIM for Time Management, Cost Management

  • Overcome common processes challenges (poor visibility, BIM compliance, project overruns)

  • BIM & growing need for prefab structures

Moderator: Yash Pratap Singh, Partner ??Major Projects Advisory, KPMG

Speakers

  • Amarnath CB, President, BIM Association of India and Head-BIM Strategy, Larsen & Toubro Construction

  • Kasturi Srinivas, Regional Director, Bentley Systems

  • Rohini Kulkarni, BIM & VDC, Digital Transformation Specialist, AECOM

  • Tushar Vagal, CIO & Head Digital, L&T Realty

  • Sonali Dhopte, Director, Excelize

Decoding Design Challenges with BIM
In this session, we look at some of the iconic projects in Mumbai and how BIM was used in planning and designing of the projects.

Speakers

  • Sachin Kale, India BIM Lead, BuroHappold

  • Muralimanoj Varadhrajan, Conputational Lead, BuroHappold

Understanding BIM Challenges in planning and designing
Moderator: Mr. Nikhil Bagalkotkar, APAC Technical Head, AEC Business, Autodesk

Speakers

  • Rajendra Hiremath, Managing Director, Synergy Infrasys

  • Sandeep Roy, Head ??Design, AIPL

  • Navneet Aron, Founder and CEO, Livio Building System

  • Rupesh Gujarathi, Director, Electro-mech India

Evolving Role of the Modern BIM manager
Reliance on complex software is increasing in the construction industry. This session will explore the traditional BIM management role, and how that role is adapting and expanding with innovative tools and technologies.

  • The evolving role of BIM Manager in AEC projects

  • How is the software supporting the evolution of this role?

  • Upskilling and training required to stay on top

  • How leading firms are using tools such as Digital Twin, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence to take a whole life-cycle approach when tackling building projects

Moderator: Jose Kurian, Sr. Project Adviser, Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board

Speakers

  • Ajith Menon, MD & CEO, BIMAGE Consulting

  • Parveen Sharma, CEO, The BIM Engineers

  • Ar. Venu Natraj, Director, Vesina Construction

DAY 2: 23 July

INNOVATION in CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT

The global construction machinery market is expected to grow from $204.24 billion in 2020 to $226.97 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1%. The growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach $321.21 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 9.1%.

Most of the construction companies are facing heavy equipment operator shortage throughout the world. Manufacturers are more focused towards technology such as robotics and automation primarily to combat labour shortages along with finishing up their tasks faster, reduce wastage and provide high yields with improved quality. Experts believed that, one of the best solutions to combat labour shortage is to automate construction equipment, especially in remote areas, for repetitive tasks and in locations with significant labour shortages. Therefore, shortage in labour or skilled workforce is driving the Autonomous construction equipment market.

Further, new construction technology companies are shaking up the industry, from the digital transformation of the design process to preconstruction estimation software, scheduling, predictive analytics, and asset management. With these new technologies and industry-wide digital transformation comes data ??and lots of it. The construction industry is experiencing a dynamic era of rapid innovation. In many ways, construction equipment manufacturers are starting to adapt to advances in telematics, autonomous machinery, and electromobility ??to name a few. DAY 2 of the Construction Technology Summit is talking about strategic partnerships among equipment makers and equipment users that are driving this change.

DAY 2 of the Construction Technology Summit will focus on Construction Equipment.

Here, Nitesh Jain, Director, CRISIL, will deliver an industry keynote on ??eyond 2021: CE market in India during and post pandemic??

This will be followed by power-packed panel discussions as below:
Gearing up for National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with innovation in Constuction Equipment
The new generation equipment from OEMs is preempting the needs for implementing projects along National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) like DMICDC, Metro Rail, NHAI, Railways, Water, Ports & Airports. Smart Cities and Urban housing projects demand equipment capabilities at compressed job sites. where the equipment features need a compact design and maneuverability. Similarly mega projects need better assessment of the task at hand, better safety, low downtime and high productivity. In this session, let?? take a look at how the CE industry is responding to the needs of infrastructure across segments.

  • CE industry gearing up for NIP

  • Demand for innovative equipment in India

  • Mega Projects need precision, speed, and scale

  • Skill sets available for operating advanced equipment features

Moderator: Nitesh Jain, Director, CRISIL

Speakers:

  • Basavaraj MB, Chief Engineer ??Metro, MMRDA

  • Umakant Mahapatra, Dy Project Director, AYESA ING – for Mumbai Metro Project Line 7 & 2B

  • Dr. Vishal Thombre, Engineer, Coastal Road Department, MCGM

  • Atul Bhobe, Managing Director, TPF Engineering

  • Amitabha Bhattacharjee, AVP & Head Asset Management (Urban Infra), TATA Projects

Extreme Project Management (XPM) leading construction equipment
Special projects like those undertaking Mining, Tunneling, Undersea tunnels, or those undertaking projects around hostile borders deserve special attention, Unfriendly sites are more demanding of construction equipment players. Such large and complex projects that are happening in extraordinary environmental conditions sometimes also require the customization of equipment. In this session, let?? look at the challenging situations and how innovation is helping in bringing about optimal solutions.

Speaker: Prabhu Kumar LT, DGM??ivil, L&T ECC

Optimising fuel efficiency

Environmental and energy cost issues demand that the construction equipment industry develop more efficient and energy-saving machines. This session will talk about recent advances and whether hybridization is now on the interim answer to efficiency.

Speaker: Kumar Gyanendra Mohan, DGM, Montecalro

Tech Focus

Speaker:Kalyanaraman Vaidyanathan, Director ??Business Development, Bentley Systems
Most Compelling Tech Interventions
Contractors, Equipment owners now invest to update their fleet with an eye on most desirable tech internet ions which help them execute projects faster, economically and provide greater accountability and transparency. What features are most compelling that contractors and equipment owners look for in equipment that they use?

  • Working on the cloud to improve productivity

  • Safely integrating new equipment technology

  • RoI vs advanced features in CE

Moderator: Sanjay Garg, Partner, PwC India

Speakers:

  • Mahesh Mudda, MD & CEO, New Consolidated Construction Company Ltd

  • PS Patel, Chairman & Managing Director, PSP Projects

  • Neerav Parmar, Sr. VP ??Contracts & Procurement, Shapoorji Pallonji

  • KRR Chandran, VP & Head ??Corporate Services ??Heavy Civil, L&T

  • Siddharth Dey, Sr. VP & Head ??Projects, Adani Airports

Evidently, India needs to drive economic activity through infrastructure and a major thrust on infrastructure projects lies in adopting technologies. JOIN US IN DRIVING THIS ECONOMIC ACTIVITY!

REGISTER FOR THE CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT HERE.

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Technology

Martin Engineering launches a new N2® remote monitoring system

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Martin Engineering, a bulk handling equipment solutions company, has launched its innovative N2® remote monitoring system for conveyor belt cleaners in countries across Europe, Middle East, Africa, India and South Asia.

Designed for any belt cleaner using a polyurethane blade, the N2® Position Indicator (PI) system tracks belt cleaner performance and tells users when servicing is required via an intuitive cloud-based mobile app or desktop dashboard. The N2® PI recently met all the requirements to achieve CE Marking in Europe. The N2® PI can be retro-fitted to most conveyor belt cleaner mainframes that use polyurethane belt cleaner blades, or it can be introduced as part of a new installation.
The gateway then sends the information to a cloud-based server, which delivers it to Martin’s dedicated mobile app and desktop dashboard on a computer. Initial trials on ten conveyors showed us that the N2® PI not only cuts inspection time, but it also helps reduce exposure to moving conveyors and associated hazards. The mobile app tracks and displays blade status, remaining life, next scheduled tensioning, run time, wear rate, cleaner model, blade type and other details. Alerts are provided automatically when a blade change is required, re-tensioning is needed or an unusual condition or change is detected.

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Concrete

Impactful Branding

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As the marketing scenario rapidly shifts to accommodate trends and customer preferences, cement companies need to reinvent their branding strategies. With the onslaught of digital marketing, especially social media, the branding exercise has taken on a new avatar. We unravel the nuances of branding, advertising and marketing communications for cement companies as each one vies for their share of the customer’s attention, and get experts to share their winning strategies with us.

How does one create loyalty for the product they have on offer? How do they communicate about what their product is all about? How do they stand apart from the clutter in the market? The answer to all these questions is branding.
A branding strategy by definition is a long-term plan to achieve a series of long-term plans to achieve a series of goals that ultimately result in the identification and preference of the brand by consumers. This strategy encompasses the brand’s mission, its promises to its customers, and how these are communicated to send the right message to the right audience.
Any product or commodity needs a branding strategy because branding promotes recognition. A good branding strategy helps build a loyal customer base, sets your product offering apart from competition and allows you to build a standard communication across all channels with a vision and mission in mind and connect emotionally with your customers.
“Although going against the tide of producing easily marketable cement, JSW Cement has chosen the less travelled path by producing cement, which is least harmful to the environment, hence, this makes us the leading producer of green /sustainable cement in India. This feat is achieved by using raw materials like slag and having efficient processes, which reduces carbon emissions by one-third of world industry average,” says Gurminder Singh, Head – Branding, JSW Cement.
“Promoting sustainable living coupled with the unmatched physical strengths of slag cement forms the basis of our branding strategy. We promote this through – TVC, giving sustainable gifts, using eco-friendly raw materials etc.,” he adds.

Changing the marketing game
Cement is a commodity widely used across the globe and there are many cement players in India as well. Branding allows them to stand apart from the competition and get a hold on the market share with its various efforts, like production, distribution, marketing etc. According to Statista reports in FY2020, Ultratech Cement held the highest market share in India with 31 per cent of the total market. Followed by Ambuja Cement with 21 per cent market share, ACC Limited with 12 per cent market share and so on.
Agnes Rozario, Manager – Brand and Customer Excellence, AKB Group says, “Building a brand in the cement industry is multidimensional but not bewildering. The Indian subcontinent has seen some very well-known brands crafting remarkable campaigns to make a mark in customers’ minds and all of them indulged in the product, service innovation and customer excellence. As we focus on the current scenario, householders account for almost a larger part of cement consumers, very evidently pointing out that this industry in India has become a brand-conscious segment with a constant need to brand the cement. Brands like JK Cement, UltraTech Cement and ACC deployed 360-degree consumer benefit-based positioning strategies for but not limited to OOH, print media, electronic ads, etc. We witnessed brands using humour (The Great Khali ad of Ambuja Cement), onboard celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Sourav Ganguly to amplify their personal brand in building awareness for the company’s USPs.”


“With a plethora of multi-channel brand activities taking place, we feel that players in the Indian Cement industry are breaking the ceiling of traditional brand marketing and adapting new viewpoints. To cement brand value in the market, consistency and the ability to vary has been the key for any successful player today,” she adds.


A November 2021 report by EPRA International Journal of Research and Development (IJRD), states that the cement industry is required to operate in a social and environment that needs to handle a market of continuous changing customers’ product preferences. The production and marketing development becomes a major activity for the cement industry of these companies. The marketing environment in the industry is competitive and dynamic and slowly all the companies are adopting new age, digital based and unique marketing strategies to be in competition in the Indian cement market not only for survival
but also for growth and development in the cement industry.

Customer-centric approach
A study conducted by Dr Pawan Kumar Dubey, Dr Umesh Kumar and Dr Arivend concludes that cement companies are well aware of the importance of focusing customers. Cement companies are willing to cater new customer segments. It shows the level of competition among the existing cement companies in the market. Any company offers a product or service in the market immediately introduced by its competitors in the market. It can be inferred that the cement industry is highly competitive.


The results also show that technology plays an important role in the growth of the cement industry. Companies have to be ready for the change in the technology to utilise this opportunity. It is required for cement companies to keep the same pace in the change in the technology within the company to contribute to the industry as a whole. They must also check about the benefits they are getting from this contribution and act accordingly.
Cement organisations are moving digital, especially in the post pandemic era. They are launching campaigns to connect with consumers of the younger age group too. Companies are touching upon issues that matter to the environment and other important issues through their digital campaigns. In January 2022, Ambuja Cement and ACC limited launched their first corporate campaign #ChangeTheStory that highlights the plastic removal efforts of the cement majors in the country. The #ChangeTheStory campaign expects to elevate the narrative around sustainability challenges with a sense of urgency by showcasing technology-backed solutions that offer effective and measurable outcomes. This campaign aims to rewrite the problems of the present and create solutions that will benefit the future of society.
Another top cement brand JK Cement launched its digital-first campaign, WallMax, to reiterate its position as the No.1 Wall Putty brand in India. The brand has adopted a 360-degree route to amplify the message, commencing with a series of quirky and intent-driven films on social media. The campaign conveys the message that attaining the No.1 position gives a proud feeling but it comes with the responsibility to create a difference in the lives of the customers.

Socially inclined
“Social media and digital marketing have picked up a lot in recent times. We are a young brand and right from the beginning we have been active on social media platforms and digital channels. We are working hard on these mediums and have been doing a lot of campaigns like People of Wonder, Stories of Wonder etc. where we engage our network, architects, contractors, masons and everyone involved with the brand,” says Siddharth Singhvi, Associate Vice President – Business Excellence, Wonder Cement.
“One of the biggest activation campaigns we did was in 2015. We thought of doing a customer activation through cricket and named it ‘Saath Saath Cricket Mahotsav’. At that time, we involved more than two lakh people on the ground directly and they played with us. Multiply that with their family members coming to see the matches, so all in all we touched about 2.5 to 3 crore people across Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. This was a path breaking campaign, one of a kind campaign done by a cement player,” he added.


Branding has always been a vital part of business, but it may be more important now than ever before. With social media, consumers get exposed to new brands every day. This can be great for consumers who have plenty of options and are able to do research to find the best one, but it makes it harder for businesses.
Branding helps the company build trust with its customers by communicating its mission and creating a promise of delivery quality. It helps create advertising for your product and build a connection with your customers and gain their loyalty. Branding is giving your product and organisation a personality, a voice, identity and positioning in the market.

Kanika Mathur

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Concrete

We can help the global cement industry to decarbonise

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With the net zero deadline looming above us, the cement industry is racing against time. Maarten van Roon, Chief Commercial Officer, Carbon8, puts forth his ideas on how Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) can help the cement industry decarbonise, and help make it a more circular sector.

Tell us more about the Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT).
Carbon8’s Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT) is based on one of nature’s ways of sequestering carbon. Carbonation occurs naturally but it is an extremely slow process. ACT controls, manages, and accelerates this reaction so that it takes between 15-30 minutes.
Essentially, we help enable circularity for hard-to-abate industrial sectors by combining captured carbon from their operations with industrial residues, from the very same operations, to manufacture new materials for the construction industry.
In cement production specifically, cement bypass dust (CBD) and cement kiln dust (CKD) are produced as a by-product. CBD and CKD are reactive to CO2 because of the compounds they contain, making them a potential carbon sink. Our technology solution captures CO2 directly from the cement plant and permanently stores it in products, by valorising
those residues. The product that ACT currently manufactures is CircaBuild, a carbon-negative alternative to natural aggregate.
CircaBuild has various applications in the construction industry, including concrete blocks, ready-mix concrete, road fill and green roofing substrate. Regardless of which application CircaBuild materials are used in, they reduce the carbon footprint of any construction project by replacing the need for virgin materials while themselves containing captured carbon.

What happens to the carbon that is captured permanently through ACT?
ACT enables the captured carbon to be permanently locked in the products and it will not be re-released. The calcium and magnesium oxides, hydroxides and silicates within the residues react with the CO2, changing it into carbonates. Through this, the carbon is permanently sequestered into carbon-negative aggregate – CircaBuild. For example, if CircaBuild is used in concrete blocks for buildings, the
carbon will not be re-emitted if the building is demolished. It is truly permanent sequestration; it is Carbon Capture, Utilisation AND Storage – ‘CCU’ with the ‘S’.
The captured carbon becomes a direct ingredient in our process. What this means for the carbon capture, is that the system taps directly into the flue stack of the cement plant and removes a portion of the carbon directly. This does not need to be treated or purified but can directly be used within the process. The captured carbon is diverted into the CO2ntainer where, under specifically engineered conditions, it is exposed to the CBD or CKD.


Tell us about the process of setting up the containers that capture carbon at the sites of cement manufacturing and how can the units implement that?
The CO2ntainer is our modular and mobile CCUS solution. It is the realisation of ACT as a compact, easily deployable CCUS innovation. The Plug ‘n Play system allows for frictionless transportation and implementation while using CO2 captured at point source to carbonate industrial residues destined for landfill. This is something that we will be delivering to the cement industry with the help of our commercial partners FLSmidth.
Our system can be integrated and retrofitted directly to a client’s cement plant with minimal downtime. Through this, the client is able to decarbonise its operation, while avoiding the cost associated with the landfill of the CBD and CKD by valourising it, and producing it into a product directly. This makes it economical and sustainable – demonstrating how the circular economy can exist within heavy industry.

Tell us more about how your company has scaled-up and your deployment at Vicat.
Carbon8’s solution dates back to over 20 years of research by our two-founding scientists, Dr Paula Carey and Professor Colin Hills. They founded the company as a spin-out from the University of Greenwich, England where our technology was originally developed.
Since then, we proved the technology at full-scale, using pure CO2 and APCr from Energy from Waste plants in the UK. A key milestone in the company’s development was the invention of the CO2ntainer in 2018. This was the realisation of the technology in its modular and mobile form, which led to successful pilots and demonstrations at a CRH cement plant in Ontario, Canada and at Hanson, part of the Heidelberg Group, in the UK.
Our first commercial deployment was at Vicat Group’s cement plant in Montalieu, France in 2020. Vicat has set ambitions to be climate neutral by 2050 and we are proud to be one of its solutions to achieve this. Like other cement plants around the world, Vicat produces cement bypass dust – which we expect will increase as Vicat, and the wider industry, move towards Alternative Fuels. These require Bypass Systems and so needed a solution to address
this. Our CO2ntainer fits into this roadmap as we can help Vicat decarbonise while giving their
CBD a new life in the form of carbon-negative CircaBuild aggregates, that they are using in concrete block production.

What other efforts can be taken by the cement industry to manage carbon emissions?
Every cement plant will have slight differences in their operations and geographic location that will determine the best ways they can manage their carbon emissions. For example, CCS may be challenging to cement works in remote locations, distant from planned CCS industrial clusters.
To adequately answer these questions, we do need to consider it in relation to what can be done today and what will be done in the future. This was also represented in the Global Cement and Concrete Association’s (GCCA) road map, which clearly showed that there are multiple levers necessary to achieve net zero ambitions, across different time horizons.
For some solutions, like full-scale CCS, there will be a time lag for the necessary infrastructure to be in place. However, we are seeing the appetite and drive necessary to implement changes today. ACT is just one of a number of different technologies that are ready today. Industrial players can be early adopters and should be, too, if net zero is to be achieved. This isn’t something where we can wait for 30 years of proof of concept. There needs to be trust in delivery and a leap of faith to get there.

What are the various benefits of carbon capture and how does it support the environment?
The need to stop the temperature of the planet at 1.5oC has been clear for some time now, and this was reemphasised again at COP26, held last year in Glasgow, UK. Specifically, in the cement industry, it is widely acknowledged and accepted that carbon capture is necessary for the industry to reach its net zero ambitions. In the GGCA’s net zero roadmap, 36 per cent of carbon reductions can be achieved from carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).
As the question suggests, there are various ways that carbon capture can benefit the planet and it will depend on the solution we are speaking about. However, if we focus on CCUS, rather than just CCS, there is a clear benefit in the ‘utilisation’ element. This goes beyond just carbon capture and storage but uses the carbon for another purpose. This is what we, at Carbon8, focus on.
Our technology captures, utilises, and permanently stores carbon in solid form. This not only helps the cement industry decarbonise, but also become a more circular sector.

Tell us more about your contribution towards achieving the net zero mission.
Carbon8 is a Circular Impact company; we can help the global cement industry decarbonise, as well as transition to more circular operations.
Our technology can be deployed as a standalone plant using bottled CO2 or in the containerised form directly to the site. The CO2ntainer can treat up to 12,000 tonnes of CBD annually, diverting this from landfill and avoiding the associated cost. CBD can have reactivity to CO2 of up to 33 per cent by weight, making it a carbon sink for the CO2 captured onsite. The preliminary Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) using the aggregate manufactured at the Vicat site showed a 30 per cent overall improvement of the LCA compared to the disposal of the residue and the manufacture of a concrete block with or without the carbon-negative aggregate. Depending on the reactivity of the residue, a singular CO2ntainer can permanently capture and store between 1,500 tonnes – 4,000 tonnes of CO2. In summary, we address two core sustainability issues faced by the cement industry today; decarbonisation and the sustainable management of the residues produced in its operations.
With the Indian cement industry being the second-largest producer of cement in the world, only second to China, with about 8 per cent of global installed capacity, we believe that there is considerable scope for our ACT solution to be deployed in India over the coming years.

-Kanika Mathur

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