Keen on expanding the product range of its construction equipment division, Greaves Cotton has forged a technology agreement with Samil Korea Co Ltd.

Using the technology provided by the Korean firm, the division will manufacture S-Valve concrete pump and boom pump at its facility in Gummidipoondi, near Chennai. Announcing this, Sunil Pahilajani, Managing Director and CEO, Greaves Cotton, said: “In two or three quarters, we will start production of the two products.”

“It is a very good agreement and purely for technology participation. These are products that we do not have today. We already have the plant capacity [in Gummidipoondi], which was not being utilised,” he told The Hindu in an interview here recently.

The agreement, Mr. Pahilajani added, was part of the strategy of Greaves Cotton to reinvent and strengthen its construction equipment division, which is one of its five divisions. Though the company was a pioneer in manufacturing construction equipment, it was overtaken by competitors, particularly those with foreign collaborations. Hence, the emphasis was on finding technology suppliers.

To tap export market

Apart from catering to the huge demand for the two products in the country, the company intends to tap the export market. Samil has also agreed to source the products manufactured in Gummidipoondi for its customers in other countries. In terms of export markets, the Middle East, Europe and parts of Africa offered considerable potential.

Boom pump, according to A. K. Sonthalia, Executive Vice-President and CFO, was in a take-off stage in the country and is used in multi-storied construction. Last year, the number of boom pumps sold in the country was in the range of 120-130, he said, adding that it was an expensive equipment. The growth last fiscal was 25-30 per cent. The market for S-Valve concrete pump, used in road laying, was growing. “We want to play the full range in the construction area… it is a very large space,” Mr. Pahilajani said, adding that the construction division had a technical collaboration with Bomag GmbH to manufacture vibratory compactors. The demand for construction equipment, he explained, was only bound to increase with emphasis on building infrastructure. Apart from helping improve the speed of work, use of modern equipment in construction had become a necessity in view of strain in terms of availability of manpower.

On the plans of the company for its automobile engine manufacturing plant in Ranipet, Tamil Nadu, Mr. Sonthalia said the capacity was being expanded from 500 engines to 1,000 engines daily.