L&T Construction & Mining Machinery and Komatsu India are looking for steady supplies of high-quality biodiesel to enable quicker biodiesel adoption in the construction and mining equipment space.
India’s construction segment, according to Economic Survey of India estimates , has grown by 10.7% in FY 22 and touched the pre-pandemic level. The UN report of 2021 suggests that 25% of India’s total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions came from the construction sector. So, it was imperative that the construction sector looked into ways of reducing carbon emission to gradually meet its emission reduction targets.
On the other hand, the Economic Survey estimates that the mining sector has grown 14.3% in FY 22, although the country’s largest miner, Coal India (CIL), claims that it accounts for only 1% of the country’s total green house gas emission.
“Komatsu is ready for biodiesel. I expect high quality biodiesel suppliers to establish a nationwide supply chain soon,” Yasunori Fujii, managing director, Komatsu India, told FE.
Komatsu has launched four new environment-friendly, B20 ( 20% biodiesel) biodiesel ready, hydraulic excavators, which it is looking to deploy as much as possible.
Arvind K Garg, executive vice president and head, L&T Construction Mining Machinery , said sustainable technology is the focus at L&T & Komatsu and these equipment will deliver the same power and productivity when operating on alternate fuels.
L&T, at present having a 30% market share in construction and mining machinery, has a tie-up with Komatsu to market and deploy their manufactured equipment. Garg said although the industrial and organised sector has made some progress in adopting biodiesel in India, it may be less than 0.25% of the total fuel consumed. It is mostly in the B20 category.
According to reports, oil marketing companies (IOC, HPCL, BPCL and others ) have increased their procurement from 1.1 crore litre during 2015-16 to 10.56 crore litre in 2019-20. But compared to developed countries, where corporates are organised and users are guided by OEMs and biodiesel companies with well-defined specifications, India is at a very early adoption stage.
India’s target for biodiesel production was 200 million litre in 2021, Garg said. But a steady supply of biodiesel conforming to global standards required for heavy off-highway machines was currently a challenge as only a few sellers operated in the segment, he added.
Incentivising users by reducing biodiesel costs could lead to higher use of the fuel, which, however, would also depend on its regular availability. In terms of creating a supply chain and availability of biodiesel, there was considerable interest in almost all states, but the availability was known to be better in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, Garg said.
Jayakumar C, head product support, Komatsu India Private Limited, said the new machines launched were designed to work with B20 without any change in performance and without altering the maintenance schedule as prescribed, using 100% high speed diesel. These machines could also run on 100% diesel without any modification to the engine offering flexibility to users. While, Komatsu, he said, was a leader in manufacturing B20 compatible machines for India, original equipment manufacturers were also coming up with biodiesel compatible machines, which could ensure increased supply and usage of bio diesel as a percentage of HSD.