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Special Supplement on BUSINESS

The Daily Observer

January 28,2010

Dump the waste, get the useful: Plastic to Diesel All the years the activists cursed the plastic, and nobody thought about the recycling of the plastic waste. But the era of thinking beyond has arrived as Sandeep finds out how plastic waste is converted to Diesel.


mbattur Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association (AIEMA), which comprises of 1,700 companies in collaboration with M K Aromatics are running a unique plant near Chennai that converts plastic into useful diesel. The diesel produced is being used for industrial purposes especially in huge generators. Plastic waste from these companies gets collected in two containers placed in the north and south of the industrial estate. After the regular collection, the waste goes to a 24- hour processing center at Alathur. It makes the estate clean, and helps the unit holders drain the storm water and sewage lines, which were previously blocked by plastic waste. According to the Xybernetizen-Incorp website the plant is using this technology which is apparently very simple by design. The machinery can easily process plastic waste such as used agricultural/mulch film, silage wrap and other soiled agricultural plastics, metallized plastics, plastic laminates, printed plastics, wet plastic byproducts and even heavily recycled plastics Founded in the year 2000, the machine runs on Polymer Energy systems and was introduced a few years ago by Harita-NTI Limited (HNTI). The company is a joint venture between Northern Technologies International Corporation (NTIC), USA and Harita, a TVS Associate. The cost of the machine would be close to Rs 10 crore with an additional Rs 2 crore for land and building. Harita-NTI website mentions that 6 metric tonnes of plastic can produce 4750 liters of diesel every day. According to assessment, a company using their technology will see an annual turnover of Rs 5.72 crore per year in conversion. The income thus provides the company to regain its investment in five years’ time. The technology used here has its advantages and has won several international environmental awards, including being one among the top 10 technologies for environmental protection by the European Environmental Press. Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, CPCL (Government of India) claims that the quality of end product is superior from what is available in the market and emits very little gas into the air (under controllable limit) and leaves only carbon powder, which is reusable. The fact, which separates it from other technologies, is that the Polymer Energy system can process plastic waste up to 30% of the contaminants. After the successful run in Ambattur, the company is seeking to expand. For this it has hired various promoters and consultancy firms, which are in turn involved in talks with municipalities and corporate houses across the country

Convert the plastic waste into diesel. Photo by Sandeep “Some of the municipalities have shown tremendous interest in this regard. The most prominent among them are Pune, Ranchi and Hyderabad municipalities,” said Harish Padiyath, CEO of Harry and More Consulting, one of the major promoters for Harita-NTI Limited. “This is mostly a one-time investment, as the maintenance does not require much of spending,” Padiyath added. Furthermore, Harita-NTIC website also mentions that for setting up the machine, the land requirement is 5000 sq ft for shed area which can mostly be barren land plus one acre of land for piling up of plastic garbage. The machine can be operated for 24 hours and requires just 6 employees including a maintenance engineer for carrying out the maintenance work. The machinery being employed can be a winning formula over the dilemmas of the plastic waste.

Help is on its way!

Homes that move Portable houses, which can be built in three days, are coming up in Bangalore says Shravana Kumar

Due to high dropout rates and illiteracy in the country the need of the hour is vocational training says Gangadhar S Patil


an education institutions be run as a profit making business? To many it’s possible but not ethical. But the following numbers show that the next big thing might just be that.


rojects like the Bangalore Metro and road widening in the city result in the demolition of old buildings and lead to debris and wastage. A new technology in the field of construction named ‘Mobile Housing’ is an alternative, which not only reduces debris but also reduces the impact on the environment. The main advantage of the Mobile or Portable House is that the entire house can be shifted from one place to another, as it’s constructed by using panels that are bolted together. The cost for this kind of construction is cheaper by 15 to 20 per cent compared to the mortar and brick construction. This project reduces debris, as the materials used for such construction are reusable. Further the structure can accommodate changes depending upon the requirement of a growing family. To build a mobile house, first the area of the site is taken is measured, and the construction is done according to it. A mobile house can be constructed in just three days. The construction for the mobile houses needs machinery like chain pulley, crane that are required to lift big components. Skilled labor are required: for example to construct a 100 square feet mobile house normally three to four workers are required. Six-inch long steel bolts and ready-made panels are bolted together to construct the house. The sizes of the panels range from 40 square feet to 100 square feet; the largest panels require trailers to move them. Building owners in Bangalore can construct a mobile house on the first-floor if there is enough room to maneuver the materials. There are a few builders who construct Mobile homes in Bangalore. “I have started this project just because we are responsible to safe guard the environment, as well as to save the resources.” said Jayaram, an engineer with Pakruthi Architects. He said that he had tried to popularize the project for many years, but met with limited success. He said that the reason for its unpopularity was the public did not want to take a chance. He explained that the in Mobile Houses, the width of the wall is 66 per cent thinner to save space. However, a Mumbai-based company named Shirke, has constructed mobile houses in Yelahankaa and Kengeri. Annapurana Karaba, a retired official said, “I have a site, I do not want take a chance with the new plan as I am investing a huge amount for a life time to construct a dream house of my own.” The new technology holds a lot of promise, especially in housing for the economically weaker section of society or for people who have been displaced because of natural calamities. But, until the public subscribes to the concept, the mobile house will have not have a base.

According to a study conducted by the Union labour ministry only 5 per cent of the Indian labour force in the age group of 20-24 years are trained in vocational skills. But in industrialized countries the percentage varies between 60 per cent and 96 per cent. In India 63 per cent of the school students drop out at different stages before reaching Class –X., resulting in a whooping 12.8 million people entering into the labour market every year but there are only 2.5 million vocational seats. This clearly indicates that there is a huge market for vocational training programmes in India. There are already around 20 private and government Vocational Training Providers (VTP) running in Bangalore. There are about a 180 VTPs across the state of Karnataka. The VTPs focus on Modular Employable Skills (MES) like basic automotive servicing, banking, hair dressing, waiting on tables, repair & maintenance of power supply, inverters and UPS, installation & maintenance of direct to home (DTH) systems etc. The government promotes the scheme where around 500 courses are taught. It was introduced in 2007-08. On completing the training students are awarded certificates issued by National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT). The VTPs working model is either to tie up with companies to train their staff at an agreed sum of money or work with the government under a public private partnership (PPP). VTPs can charge between Rs 500 – 2000 per module depending on the duration of the module ranging from 90-270 hours. These short-duration courses are targeting at children who drop out after class 5 and also at the existing masses of uncertified semi-skilled worker. According to a planning commission report in 11th five year plan around 15 million direct and indirect jobs will be created in automobile industry. This is the indication for increasing demand for semi skilled jobs in secondary sector. Prabhakar, training officer at Bangalore urban nodal office, Government Industrial Training Institute feels, “The prospect is good as I could see lot more students enrolling for the various modules.” John Dsouza, manager of Loyola Industrial Training Institute is the first VTP to start MES program in Bangalore. He said that those who enroll for this programme usually have the required skills to acquire a job but do not have a certificate to prove it. That’s where these VTPs enter. These students have to sit through an exam after which they are awarded a certificate. Courses on automobile servicing are very popular as they get jobs immediately after the course. The purpose of MES is to equip these students with minimum level skills, which should be sufficient to find a job in the market. Sadathulla Baig, principal of government run Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Kolar said that the training was a continuous process and the enrollment had increased. Venktesh, principal of government ITI institute in Shimoga said that after the course some students start their own business or shops to earn a living. “It is a really useful course as students who come here get minimum skills to work in the industry.” India has set a target of providing vocational education skills to around 500 million by the end of 2022. With 92 per cent of the work force in the unorganized sector, this only indicates at the significant number of prospective students to these institutions. With high dropout rates and increasing poverty youngsters are on the look out for job at early age of their life.


Homes that move  

Portable houses, which can be built in three days, are coming up in Bangalore says Shravana Kumar

Homes that move  

Portable houses, which can be built in three days, are coming up in Bangalore says Shravana Kumar