Coal mining set for growth
There is positive growth in the Indian coal mining sector—it will rise by 5 to 6 per cent every year from the current level. Says Nirmal Dutta, Country Head, P&H Joy Mining Equipment India Ltd, "In India, business is slow. Besides, there are a lot of bureaucratic hurdles, decision-making is slow. For instance, in China, a deal is finalised in three to four months, but here it drags on for at least one to two years."
Operating in the Indian market since the past 30 years, P&H offers underground coal mining and surface mining equipment like continuous miners, power packs, long wall power roof supports and shearers. The equipment can be used for copper and metal mining.
Three to four years from now, India could become a manufacturing hub for some of the components for the company's global operations. P&H plans to manufacture economically viable components such as castings, forgings and gearboxes and outsource them to other countries. It also plans to venture into high wall and punch mining besides going in for undeground mining of potash and salt.
P&H will explore the possibility of contract mining. In underground mining and in certain areas of open cast mining, contract mining is not permissible. The coal sector is looking to subcontract wherein entire mining operations will be given to contractors. However, this will require change in legislation.
"Probably, we will form a sort of association with service partners where we will supply the equipment and the service partner will offer O&M of the equipment," says Dutta. With orders worth Rs 35 crore, P&H hopes to cross Rs 50 crore for the next year. The company is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the UK branch of Joy Global Incorporation, with head office in USA.
The production capacity of the whole group is $1 billion in underground mining equipment and $0.8 billion in surface mining equipment, totalling $1.8 billion. Latest orders for P&H are from Eastern Coalfields and Singarelli Coalfields. Other clients are South Eastern Coalfields and Western Coalfields Ltd.
P&H also wants to establish a central overhaul facility for all its products at the Kolkata centre on a small level. If the company's installed base increases, then it will establish its overhaul facility at other locations. It is planning a service exchange programme that will offer replacement for overrun parts of its equipment. The company has warehouses at various locations and plans to add more in Nagpur and Hyderabad.
It is hoped that easing of import formalities will allow easy availability of spare parts for customers. Buyers have the option of purchasing the components locally and opting for short-term advantages, but they don't realise the damage they do to the equipments in the long term, notes Dutta. Users should also be aware of technologies available in the market.
P&H renovates and modifies its products according to market needs. The main focus is energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption, have reliable equipments, reduce endless maintenance requirements, and provide customer support services.
[5 December 2005]