Namami Gange: treatment market can be ₹500 crore, says Thermax

Pronoy Nath Banerji | Updated on March 12, 2018


Company will participate only if contract is from Centre: MD Unnikrishnan

The Centre’s ambitious project of cleaning the Ganga took shape with the launch of Namami Gange at 104 locations across the country. The project, valued at ₹1,500 crore, will be completed in a phased manner. Speaking to Bloomberg TV India, Thermax Managing Director MS Unnikrishnan said the project opens up a major opportunity for construction, sewage and water treatment companies.

How do you think the macro opportunity from Namami Gange will pan out for a company like yours?

There’s one part that is related to redoing and refurbishing the ghats in Varanasi and the Ganga shores, which should benefit the construction sector. The second part is the sewage coming from the localities in and around Ganga in a particular area. There will be a lot more of sewage lines and treatment plants coming in. This will help India Inc. I think the outlay for the project will be ₹2,000 crore and a good part — at least 50 per cent — is for treatment plants. That’s a new market going to be created based on what has been sanctioned so far. And this is just phase 1.

For Thermax, what is the exposure?

If this is going to be an SPV or a contract directly given by the Centre — like the earlier JNNURM project — Thermax will participate in it. If that be the case, the treatment market can be in the range of ₹300-500 crore. But if it’s going to be done by a local body, we may not participate as we have exited from the municipal treatment business for various reasons.

What is the award system of the projects likely to be?

There will be a pre-qualification process based on the technology being adopted for this kind of scheme. The company that has the knowledge, technology and experience and process experience will get pre-qualified in the bidding process and certainly the pre-qualified one who quotes the lowest price will be getting the award. Our company will only participate when the Centre is involved because of payment security and also government practices will be superior to local bodies.

In terms of procurement or sourcing of debt or in terms of financing, you think there will absolutely be no strain for these projects?

Absolutely. It would be very similar to the way highways are getting bid out now. The new government has become very practical now and they are giving it out under the EPC model.

I’m sure that this is going to be fully funded by the Central government.

Published on July 10, 2016

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