Rapid adoption in construction and mining: L&T, Komatsu seeking a steady supply of biodiesel

L&T Construction & Mining Machinery and Komatsu India are seeking a steady supply of high-quality biodiesel to enable faster adoption of biodiesel in construction and mining machinery.

According to estimates by the Economic Survey of India, the construction segment in India has grown by 10.7% in FY 22 and has reached pre-pandemic levels. The 2021 UN report suggests that 25% of India’s total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions came from the construction sector. So it was imperative that the construction industry find ways to reduce carbon emissions in order to gradually meet its emissions reduction targets.

On the other hand, the Economic Survey estimates that the mining sector grew by 14.3% in FY 22, although the country’s largest miner, Coal India (CIL), claims it accounts for only 1% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. country takes care of.

“Komatsu is ready for biodiesel. I expect that high-quality biodiesel suppliers will soon establish a nationwide supply chain,” Yasunori Fujii, Komatsu India General Manager, told FE.

Komatsu has launched four new, environmentally friendly, B20 (20% biodiesel) biodiesel-ready, hydraulic excavators, which it intends to deploy as much as possible.

Arvind K Garg, executive vice president and head of L&T Construction Mining Machinery, said sustainable technology is the focus at L&T & Komatsu and that these equipment will deliver the same power and productivity when running on alternative fuels.

L&T, which currently has a 30% market share in construction and mining machinery, has partnered with Komatsu to market and deploy their manufactured equipment. Garg said that while the industrial and organized sector has made some progress in using biodiesel in India, it could be less than 0.25% of the total fuel consumed. It is usually in the B20 category.

According to reports, oil marketing companies (IOC, HPCL, BPCL and others) have increased their purchasing from 1.1 crore-liter in 2015-16 to 10.56 crore-liter in 2019-20. But compared to developed countries, where companies are organized and users are guided by OEMs and biodiesel companies with well-defined specifications, India is at a very early stage of adoption.

India’s target for biodiesel production is 200 million liters by 2021, Garg said. But a steady supply of biodiesel that meets the global standards required for heavy-duty off-highway machinery has been challenging at the moment, as only a few vendors operated in the segment, he added.

Encouraging users by lowering the cost of biodiesel could lead to higher fuel consumption, which would also depend on its regular availability. In terms of creating a supply chain and the availability of biodiesel, there was a lot of interest in almost all states, but availability was known to be better in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, Garg said.

Jayakumar C, Head of Product Support, Komatsu India Private Limited, said the new machines launched are designed to work with B20 without any change in performance and without changing the prescribed maintenance schedule, using 100% high speed diesel. These machines could also run on 100% diesel without any modification to the engine, giving users flexibility. While Komatsu, he said, was a leader in manufacturing B20-compatible machines for India, original equipment manufacturers also came up with biodiesel-compatible machines, which could allow for greater supply and use of biodiesel as a percentage of HSD. .

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