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US water company Xylem to open second pump factory in India

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on August 28, 2018 Published on August 27, 2018

Patrick K Decker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Xylem

Xylem, a US company in the water business, finds a need to open a second factory in India to make pumps. The location and investment are yet to be finalised, the company’s President and CEO, Patrick K Decker, told BusinessLine.

The New York Stock Exchange-listed, $5 billion company, Xylem, produces a variety of water pumps at its plant in Vadodara, Gujarat. The range begins from those that can pull up water at the rate of 20,000 litre a second to those that can do 100,000 litre a second. The company, which incidentally, has been called to take a look at how it can help in de-watering operations in Kerala, is overwhelmed by the demand in the country.

“We have run out of capacity,” Decker said. When pressed for the investments Xylem would make for the second plant, he gave a ballpark figure of $40-50 million. He called supply chain in India a “constraint” and said Xylem would need to develop it.

Growth areas

Apart from pumps, the company is into several areas touching water, such as building water tower tanks, water treatment, de-clogging water pipelines and testing and metering water. Pipeline condition assessment and leak detection is another growing area in India, Decker said, adding that a lot of machine learning was involved in pipeline health, resulting in predicting “when and where the next leak could occur.”

Sewage treatment is yet another area of high growth in India — Xylem provides turnkey solutions, produces all of treatment plants except the civil works. H Bala, Managing Director of Xylem Water Solutions India, observed that capacity exists in the country to treat just a fourth of the 13 billion litre of sewage that is produced daily.

A background note provided by the company says that over 90 per cent of the waste water is discharged into rivers, lakes and ponds untreated, which leads to contamination of water sources. As a result, India uses about 250 cubic km of ground water each year, which is about a quarter of the global ground water use. If this situation continues, the country will face severe water scarcity by 2050.

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Published on August 27, 2018
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