Thursday, January 19, 2012

‘Technology in harmony with nature is need of the hour’ - Atul Kirloskar on Fazilka Ago Park


Kirloskar Group is a $1.20 billion engineering conglomerate driving critical industries. The Group is a century old pioneer in areas like power, construction, mining, agriculture, transport, oil, gas and environment protection industry, with a range of world-class industrial products and turnkey services. The Group is made up of eight major companies, each led by the best engineering and managerial talent in India. "We have a group turnover of Rs 2,000 crore approximately. We make equipment, machinery and high-precision engineering products for the transport sector, including shipbuilding, railways, roads and cargo," said Atul Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director, Kirloskar Group, while interacting with Daily Post. He said that the Group had a major presence in the auto components, rubber and plastics, textiles and also consumer goods industries. "In addition to engineering, we have interests in civic utility systems and in Information Technology (IT) and communications sector as well," he said. Here are excerpts: 

Tell us something about your company's Agro Park venture being set up in Fazilka.

Agro Park is based on public private partnership (PPP) model. The project is being jointly executed by Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Limited (PAIC) and Sampuran Agri Ventures, a unit of food-processing company Nasa Agro and Kirloskar Group. Under the project, water bodies would be created over the land, which have turned waste due to waterlogging, by creating crystals of sodium, cleaning the water for agriculture and drinking purpose, and subsequently using the surplus water for the production of fish. 

What role does your company play in the Agro Park project? 

We have developed a paddy straw based biogas plant, specifically for this region with forward integration to use brackish water for biogas digesters and processing paddy straw residue into bio-fertilisers with silica, cellulose and lignin content ideal to revive the alkaline soils and promote other allied activities for the economic development of the region. Besides this, we have 10 per cent stake in the park. The park would be generating 30,000 cubic litres of bio-gas from paddy straw, which in result will generate one megawatt power.

Your Group is focusing on sustainable development technologies. Your take, please. 

The sustainable development has always been an important aspect of our value system and we have always demonstrated the same through our actions. We are committed to contribute in reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by implementing green technologies. The waste disposal is a major problem faced in the agriculture and industry sector, as well as the municipal corporations. Our Group firm Kirloskar Intergrated Technology Limited (KITL), has an exhaustive research background in 'biomass to energy' processes and has filed several patents in these areas. The company offers distributed sustainable solutions in green technologies and renewable energy on turnkey basis.

What are the products offered by KITL for generating energy through renewable sources?

Our Group is providing renewable energy solutions under five models, while Kirloskar Sanjeevani Home Energy System is specifically meant for the rural areas of India. It is a hybrid system of biogas and solar power comes with two cubic per metre biogas plant, two solar panels, two solar lanterns and biogas stove. We have come up with biogas based rural energy solutions also. Beside this, the biogas based solutions, which has been innovated by KITL are generating local employment to enrich and empower the rural people of the nation. We think that we are moving in the right direction with all seriousness.

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