1. Tell us about GRT, and scope of your business in India?

Global Road Technology (GRT) is an international company that provides revolutionary solutions to create better and safer roads for people, industries and communities. The company has been working in communities across the world to deliver its innovative technology, including undertaking a number of projects in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and set up a major hub in Pune, India.

GRT India is providing several technologies not before seen in India. This includes:

  1. Cold-In-Place-Recycling – this is a method of recycling in-situ material with road crust to create stronger roads – without the use of borrow material;
  2. Concrete Treated Base – we use cement dust and homogenous it with in-situ materials to create a stronger road base;
  3. Polymer Reinforcement – uses our proprietary technology of polymer blends for the strengthening of base and binding materials, while also water proofing;
  4. Dust Suppression – uses a blend of our polymers for erosion control and dust suppression for all side Blatter and medium strips for road developments;
  5. Hot-In-Place-Recycling – we plan to launch new technology in HIPR next year that incorporates state-of-the-art thermal bonding for potholes and patching works.

Indian road infrastructure is undergoing phenomenal growth for the past 15 years and will continue to grow at higher rates in coming years under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Global Road Technology allows us to construct a kilometre of expressway within 24 hours, cutting 75 percent off standard construction time and resulting in significant savings in costs. We have the resources in place to deliver over 200 km of road a year in India and are scaling up those capabilities to triple output over the next 3 years.

We plan to have a minimum of 6 full sets of Cold- In-Place road trains in the field, deployed across various National Highways. We plan to take up direct State Government work for road rehabilitation to a minimum of Rs 100 Cr. Further we plan to launch our new technology in Hot-In-Place Recycling for Potholes & Patchwork for Municipalities starting in Mumbai early in the new calendar year.

Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?

In Kacha Roads we plan to commence our first major polymer reinforcement project for Coal India and continue to spread our technology throughout the sector taking up work for industry leaders.
We have launched our new line of Dust control products and we have secured a number of micro stabilization projects for the new year – we will look to expand our reach and implement our products across government work, industry including; power plants, cement plants, sugar mills, festivals etc.

Overall we will surpass Rs 350 Cr in revenue for FY17 and continue to build on our platform as a leader in the introduction of new road based technologies.

2. GRT’s upcoming projects in India?

GRT completed a project in Mumbai for MSRDC and recently completed a project for the Kumbh Mela in Ujjain to control the dust plumes kicked up by high traffic. We were able to cut dust so that pilgrims could enjoy the Mela without the dust problems, for the first time in the festivals history – which was well received by government, media and especially the visitors. Global Road Technology (GRT) has started its first National Highway project in India with lead Contractor Soma Enterprises Ltd under their concessionaire subsidiary; Soma-Isolux Varanasi-Aurangabad Tollway Pvt. Ltd. The project comprises construction of 6 lane highway of Varanasi-Aurangabad section – NH-2 in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

Soma has also awarded 2 more projects to GRT based on the success of its first work. These projects will be in CIPR in the State of Bihar.

GRT will be taking up further NHAI works in MP and UP in coming months – also a pilot project is slated for March in Mumbai using GRT’s new HIPR technology.

Global Road Technology has developed new technology that meets the requirement of the Code for stabilization of base layers in PQC projects. GRT will be announcing a major project soon that includes DLC replacement technology, that can half the time taken to prepare the support layer for concrete highways.

3. PPP model in infrastructure how successful in India, is there a need of policy change?

The current view is that PPP model is not living up to the hype. There have been some high profile failures – however I am a proponent and I think that the PPP model should be continued with further focus. It is critical in our sector and a lot of good highway projects have been built under the scheme.

Money is already pouring into the roads sector and we can see the revival of the space and the end to a lot of the legacy issues faced by some of the top players. This is also elevating stress on some of the banks and one would hope they view the sector with more prudence ongoing. It should be noted that Private money should also follow suit – the industry, especially the Private Equity market has been slow to react even with strong fundamentals presenting across the board.

Issues such as; construction delays, clearances and other contentious issues like; land acquisitions will always be there. However the PPP model can work and I believe it is critical to the success of the industry if we are going to attract the key players back and entice them to invest and scale up infrastructure projects pan India.

4. Technology used in meeting safety, health and environment requirements for projects specific to India

There is certainly room for improvement with regards to Health & Safety in India. One area is dust control and dust mitigation. Global Road Technology manufactures a range of products for dust control on kaccha roads, service roads, construction sites and stockpiles – that can alleviate the dust disease to employees and eliminate road accidents due to visibly impaired by dust.

Other areas for improvement include; intelligent safety systems such as GPS, wireless communications and video detection systems, Smart signs, Smart camera crash prevention, Roadside collision avoidance, Driver fatigue detection and warning, Collision avoidance technology systems.

To read this article or for further information on Global Road Technology India http://www.projectstoday.com/FeaturedArticles/Project-Experts-Speak/An-Interview-with-Mr-Ben-W-James-CEO-Founder-of-GRT