Dec 15 2012 | Analysis

Strengthening Structure

The growth  of construction chemicals sector  is directly related  to the real estate and infrastructure development of the country. The real estate sector has expanded its reach across India; the boom in the residential and commercial real estate development has made large inroads  in tier II and tier III cities. The spurt in construction activities based on modern  building & construction techniques is ultimately leading to increase in the consumption of Construction Chemicals. Sandeep Sharma examines....

The construction chemical sector is growing at a rapid pace and   caters   to   industrial,   architectural   and general construction,  repair  and  rehabilitation  industry.  These chemicals impart special properties to concrete structures. The cost of construction chemicals is hardly two percent of the overall construction cost but the benefits are manifold. The Indian consumer is gradually realizing the importance of using construction  chemicals.  In  fact,  in  many  of  the  prestigious projects which are funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank, it is mandatory to make use of construction chemicals to add strength to the structure.

TYPES

The construction chemical can be segregated into; Admixtures, Flooring Compounds, Repair & Rehab and other products such as are Grouts, Adhesive, and Substrate support, Water Proofing Compounds etc.

USAGE & BENEFITS

Construction Chemicals refers to the chemicals which are used in both pre and post construction stage. These are specialty products that are used in concrete structures for longevity, and also to give additional protection from environmental hazards. There are certain chemical products whose usage results in minimizing the quantities of cement and water generally required during the construction. These chemicals are available in wide range and used as an additive to concrete/mortar or as an application on masonry surfaces. These chemicals modify and enhance the properties of concrete in fresh and hardened state. The benefits of using construction chemicals lies in protecting slabs and basements from water and humidity, providing protection against corrosion, preventing fungi, molds and mildew, preserving concrete by neutralizing lime, eliminating or reducing cracking, hardening the concrete surfaces and reducing abrasion and dusting. These chemicals cater to various market segments such as engineering, construction, hydraulic structures, and rehabilitation of dams, ports, power houses, bridges and aqueducts. The wide range of resinous construction chemicals are used for industrial floorings, protective coatings, structural repairs, waterproofing and as adhesives & sealants.

APPLICATIONS

A large variety of formulations and chemistries are used for diverse applications during both pre and post-construction stages. The use of chemicals in the construction industry is aimed at adding strength and durability to the buildings. The application of chemicals in the construction sector requires adequate safety measures in terms of the applicator wearing safety gear such as goggles, special gloves and shoes.

INDUSTRY COMPOSITION

The Construction Chemical industry in India is relatively small and largely unorganized. The industry is dominated by quite a few players at the top. The prominent players of the Indian Construction Chemicals sector comprises BASF Construction Chemicals (India) Pvt Ltd, Pidilite Industries, STP Ltd, Choksey Chemicals Pvt Ltd, CICO Technologies Ltd, Chembond Chemicals Ltd, Elkay Chemicals Pvt Ltd, Conpro Chemicals Pvt Ltd, etc. The per capita consumption of construction chemical in India is quite low compared to the advanced nations. As per the industry sources the size of the industry is around Rs 2,000 cr.

CHALLENGES

The industry players need to create awareness among Construction Engineers on a wide scale about the usage and benefits of Construction Chemicals. The awareness level is quite low and can hamper further growth of the sector. The expansion of the market largely depends on conveying the right message about how a benefit outweighs cost with regard to construction chemicals. The formulation of and adherence to standards for manufacturing and application of construction chemicals can go a long way in stabilizing the price differentiation between products and the end user will be in a better position to take buying decisions.

MARKETS

In broader terms, the existing markets for these products are divided into two segments. 1) Buildings 2) Infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and dams. In both the segments the opportunities are available in new construction as well in the repair and renovation of the existing structures.

RE-DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

India offers a wider scale for the growth of construction chemical industry. In many of the metro cities of India, the redevelopment of Buildings are taking the centre stage and offers immense opportunities both in renovation of the existing structures in addition to repair works.

The numbers of buildings which are more than 40 to 50 years are in thousands and needs renovation. The new laws provide for demolishing existing old structures and constructing new high rise buildings. The scope of using construction chemicals is increasing with every passing day. The tropical climate and the inferior construction material used by builders also cause many of these building to need repairs much earlier. As per the research paper released by Dr Pradip Manjrekar, Dr R Gopal and Milind Deshpande titled, ‘The key issues and challenges in the construction chemical industry in India’, the construction market is expected to grow at more than 30% p.a. for the next few years.

URBAN  HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES

Ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation (HUPA) is pitching for higher allocation for housing development. As per news reports, the ministry is targeting an allocation of Rs 40,000 crore for Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) out of the total outlay of Rs 79,600 crore for the 12th Five-Year Plan. Rajiv Awas Yojana scheme under JNNURM aims at “Slum Free Cities” in India. There is a shortage of 18.5 million houses in urban areas.

In case the construction chemical industry can explain the benefits of using Construction Chemicals and present a strong case to the policy makers and the ministry concerned, then there is a likelihood that the industry can get a slice of the amount allocated for urban housing in India.

RETAIL MARCH

The recent approval for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail is expected to increase construction activity in the commercial development space of tier-I cities. The construction of retail outlets and shopping malls are likely to follow suit. This is good news for the Construction Chemicals sector. Most of these developments would require high end construction activity wherein the usage of Construction Chemicals is likely.

REALTY BOOSTER

Real Estate projects in the higher income group and luxury segment are the most likely targets for promoting usage of Construction Chemicals. Some of these projects that can generate b2b leads for Construction Chemicals industry are listed below:

Landmark  Construction is planning to invest around Rs 450 crore in various residential projects. They have recently launched  project  ‘The  Grange’  on  ECR  at  Palavakkam  in Chennai.. The project concept is ‘walk in and live’ model villas, The project comprises 28 ultra premium villas. Each villa is approximately 4,800 sft located over three floors and is priced at Rs 12,500 per sft amounting to Rs 6 crore. The project value is around Rs 165 crore and is estimated to be completed in 18 months. The approvals are in place.

Sunteck  Realty has announced the launch of their luxury residential project Sunteck City in Goregaon West, Mumbai.

‘Sunteck City’ is an integrated development project spread over an expanse of more than 20-acre. As margins are higher in both luxury and premium projects, realty companies are launching more of such projects.

ATS Group is launching a housing project named ‘ATS Triumph’ located along the Dwarka Expressway in Gurgaon. The project comprises 443 units involving investment of about Rs 550 crore over the next three years. The company would develop eight towers in this project and the size of the units are 2,290 sq ft and 3,150 sq ft.

Tata Realty and Infrastructure has launched a mega housing project in Nagpur couple of months back. The project,
'Capitol Heights’, will have 352 flats, shopping mall, multiplex. There will be apartments, ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 BHK sizes on sprawling 9.90 acre in Rambagh in southern part of city. The project will be fully operational by 2014.
Brys Group in Noida plans to develop a 300-metre tall residential tower and has earmarked an investment of Rs 1,000 crore to develop 285 premium apartments over the next four years. This will be the tallest building in NCR and would be an iconic structure. The sizes of the apartments will vary between 3,000 sq ft and 8,650 sq ft. The company will offer different sizes of flats with 3, 4, 5 and 6-BHK units. There will be some luxury villas also. The prices of the units will be in the range of Rs 3-9 crore.

London-based real estate player Homestead, which is a pioneer in branded luxury residences, has announced the launch of the ‘Michael Schumacher World Tower’ in Gurgaon’s Sector 109. This project will come over five acre and would comprise 28 high rise floors and offer about 100 homes. The Michael Schumacher World Tower project is strategically located in the high growth corridor of the Gurgaon urban area and is also well connected to the Airport, Railway Station. The Michael Schumacher World Tower (MSWT) has exceptional features like cantilevered helicopter platform which, allows for VIP access, glass dome at the top of the building and a Duplex apartment space penthouse. In addition to that there will be a clubhouse and a wide range of sporting and leisure facilities. The development also includes a museum and a cafe dedicated to Michael Schumacher.

South India based property developer Asten Realtors has lined up Rs 1,000 crore worth investment projects in the next three years in central Kerala. The investment includes two apartment projects, Villament at Mudikkal on the Alwaye- Perumbavoor road and a high-end apartment project at Panangad. The Villament project would offer facilities of both villa and apartment. There will be 58 such apartments, each costing around Rs 2 crore. It would also set up an integrated township project at Kakkanad with an investment of Rs 480 crore. The 6.5 acre township with a built-up area of 1.4 million sft would be commissioned by August, 2015.

Larsen & Toubro is setting up one of the largest residential projects in Mumbai — measuring up to two million square feet over 20 acre of vacant land on its Powai campus in Mumbai. The residential real estate prices in Powai and adjoining areas are around Rs 25,000 per sq ft.

Mantri  Realty plans to develop three housing projects in Maharashtra and Karnataka at a cost of Rs 750 crore over the next 2-3 years. One project each will be launched in Pune, Solapur and Bangalore. Of these, the Pune project will be launched by March 2013 and will be a luxury housing project. The Pune project, at an investment of Rs 400 crore, would have about 8 lakh sq ft area and would house around 350 flats. The company will also launch another luxury housing project in Solapur, Maharashtra next year, which will also have some commercial spaces. The company would invest Rs 100 crore on the development of a project in Solapur which would have 100 units. The Bangalore project will be a group housing project. This is likely to be launched by the middle of next year. The firm plans to build 1,000 units in the Bangalore project and the construction cost would be around Rs 250 crore.
Peninsula  Land has entered into an agreement to jointly develop a plot of about 19-acre in central Mumbai with the landowner Bhattad family and HEM Bhattad Developers. The project is expected to generate a total saleable space of about 1.85 million sq ft by 2017-18.

Essar Group has launched apartments in its 40-storey Waters Edge residential tower project in Hebbal. The Group’s real estate arm Equinox Realty has named the project as ‘Villas in the Sky. These residences are luxury four-bedroom apartments sold on invitation only, equipped with a private pool, jacuzzi and premium interior specifications. The apartments area is around 4,900 sq ft and come with home support facilities such as house-keeping, concierge services, repairs and replacement works. The apartment also offers a private bar, study space, home automation system and high speed elevators.

Bhartiya  group decided to develop its integrated township project, Bhartiya City, in phases in Bangalore at a total cost of $2-billion.The project, to be developed on a 125-acre land, has IT SEZ component as well. The company would develop residential, IT office space, retail and hotel in the first phase. In the first couple of years, the group plans to take up 3.2 million sq ft of residential, 0.6 million IT office space, 0.7 million retail and 0.5 million hotel.As part of the project, the group has partnered with Leela Group to operate a 300-room hotel. It is learnt that the group will spend Rs 250 crore for hotel construction and the Leela group will manage the hotel titled Leela Bengaluru. The project is located within the BBMP limits. The township is master planned by Perkins Eastman from New York and architects include Broadway Malyan from the UK/ Singapore, RSP-Bangalore and Edifice-Mumbai.The project is said to be a design-driven innovation applied to real estate project. The whole project is likely to be completed in 8 to 10 years.

TENDER OPPORTUNITIES

• Bokaro  Power Supply  Company  Pvt Ltd has invited tender for providing and fixing of acid proof bricks & tiles required for acid lining in the drain of DM water plant of unit at Bokaro steel city. Contact: T: 06542-240380
• BEML  Ltd  has invited tenders for providing of water proofing treatment by using APP membrane for RCC buildings at Mysore. Contact: T: 080-22963179
• The Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development Cooperative Federation  Ltd has invited for water proofing treatment to the roof slabs of building at MCC building at Jangoan in Warangal. Contact: T: 040-27019851
• Pondicherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation Ltd has invited tenders for walls finishing with water proofing cement paint of required   shade   at   Pondicherry.   Contact:   T:   0413
2334606
• Govt of Uttar Pradesh, Public Works Department  has invited tenders for water proofing work of Raj bhawan main building and other residence buildings at Lucknow. Contact: T: 0522 2286273
• National  Centre For Biological Sciences  has invited tenders for water proofing work for guest houses in B and V blocks at Bengaluru. Contact: T: 080-23666352
• Haryana Irrigation Department  has invited tenders for provision of rehabilitation of Dewana disty from K.M. 5.
790 to 14.700 along with bridges at Rewari. Contact: T: 01274-256894
• Central Public Works Department, Kolkata has invited tenders for water proofing treatment of roof of Central Excise Office building at City Centre, Durgapur. T: 033-
22802303

FUTURE BRIGHT

The Government of India estimates an investment of over $1 trillion in the next five years. The construction and infrastructure tops the investment agenda. Construction Chemicals appears to be sure shot winner in the medium to- long term development of the country. The need of the hour is to create awareness about the usage to increase the longevity and durability of the building structure.

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