Due to stricter rules and regulations with regard to fresh water intake and wastewater discharge, efficient water management has become essential to the industry.
Paques develops anaerobic water treating systems to help industries and civic bodies reduce their water and carbon footprints. The pulp and paper industry, as is known, is a water intensive industry endeavoring to reduce its water consumption since long and thereby the contribution of Paques through its cost-effective, reliable effluent treatment systems is quite relevant. Paques systems not only make waste water reusable, but also facilitate the tapping of biogas generated during purification process for green energy purposes.
Sustainability, green energy, resource conservation, and recycling have become quite attention seeking parameters in the paper industry globally, and as such, entities like Paques are doing their bit in addressing those parameters through technological intervantions. Paper Mart, showing its continued engagement with green practices, recently decided to cover Paques’ efforts through an interview of Mr. Sudeep Sangameswaran, Managing Director, Paques Environmental Technology India Pvt. Ltd. Excerpts:
Paper Mart: Give us a brief historical view of Paques and its product offerings?
Sudeep Sangameswaran: Paques helps companies and municipalities contribute to the major challenges of today: to reduce their water and carbon footprints and reclaim valuable resources. Paques does this by developing ingenious anaerobic water purification systems that produce energy from wastewater, whilst purifying the water and facilitating water reuse. The biogas produced in the purifying process is a source of green energy, a field of emerging interest worldwide. Paques’ technologies have proven to be cost-effective and reliable solutions.
In India, our prime focus is to bring cutting edge as well as emergent Paques global technologies and relate them to a low total cost of ownership context in an Indian scenario.
PM: Due to stricter rules and regulations with regard to fresh water intake and waste water discharge, efficient water management has become essential to the paper industry. Describe your role in addressing the effective water management through your products and services.
SS: We look at these regulations as an opportunity for the paper ndustry to look at “Waste Water Treatment as a revenue generation model”. With Paques Biopaq®IC technology, paper industry can be sure of (a) process optimisation in water usage, (b) claiming Clean energy and Clean Water, (c) enhance the in-house talent through industry expertise from Paques. We are looking to support the industry not only by supplying superior technologies, but also by driving these technologies through effective management programmes at the Effluent Treatment Plant.
PM: Paques has decades of expertise in biological purification, physical separation and filtration, which enables you to design, build and deliver a custom-made and cost-effective purification process. Can the same expertise be replicated for the Indian paper Industry? Kindly elaborate with some examples.
SS: Paques has the largest market share for the paper industry in globe when it comes to biogas generation through anaerobic treatment and biogas treatment to generate clean energy for the industry.
The entire portfolio of Paques Global Technology and Solutions Basket is available now in India. Paper industry that generates waste with High COD, ammonia, fats, oil & grease, etc. or generates gas that needs to be remedied for use as Clean Energy can find a Paques solution that will help improve their profitability and sustainability objectives. It is a pertinent point to mention here that annually Paques invests 10-11 percent of its global revenue in R&D. We expect even more innovative clean technology and sustainability solutions to be made almost simultaneously available to India – one of the top markets for such technologies.
Recently, we have signed a contract with one of the leading paper companies in Northern India – K R Pulp & Paper Ltd., Shahjahanpur, wherein the widely accepted Paques Biopaq®IC technology will be treating over 40 tonnes of COD, will generate Biogas out of it as an additional benefit to the client and above all provide the re-assurance of meeting discharge standards for effluent release into the river Ganga.
PM: When did you become active in India and what would be your line of action/strategy for future?
SS: We started our own 100 percent owned operations in India in end-2013. This operation has been set up fully in line with our belief that India will be one of the Top 5 markets in the world for Clean/Sustainable Technologies by 2020, which will require well capitalized, fully technology supported and owned manufacturing entities, capable of independent operations that will in turn feedback with R&D as well as Application Development initiatives to the global parent.
PM: Do you have any plans for partnership with an Indian company?
SS: Every paper manufacturing company is our partner. We are looking to work with end users in paper industry – solving their environmental issues and assuring them high returns simply by turning over their wastewater through a Paques Plant.
PM: Has coming to India poised any challenges for your company? How do you see Indian companies with regards to water management?
SS: Indian industry has always held great potential for cutting edge technologies that help conserve resources or regenerate waste in sustainable manners and hence has always been a happy prospect for Clean Technology Solutions companies from the West.
The challenge has mostly been in making these offerings locally relevant at prices that reflect the purchasing power of local industry. In recent times, with India bearing the brunt of fuel price and other imports/exchange rate volatility, the ability and willingness to invest in technologies that help revitalize resources has shown positive indicators.
Seeing that these trends will only accelerate with the future economic developments in India and the neighbouring regions, Paques decided to time their entry into India with a fully owned subsidiary, putting behind the relatively indifferent experience we had in this country in the 1990’s through a Joint Venture.
The economic maturity in India is right now adequate to welcome our globally proven technologies which not only address wastewater treatment and re-use concerns of Indian clients, but also divert such opportunities towards exploring alternate energy options. Such a situation demands strong local presence in terms of engineering, manufacturing, application development and most importantly human resource and this is what encouraged Paques to set up a wholly owned subsidiary.
PM: Any message for our readers?
SS: Most of our major consumers are private corporates and industries. Through your magazine, I would like to reach out strongly to the leadership at all pulp and paper Industries and urge them to strengthen the hands of tried, tested and proven world leading technology companies, with management, financial and technological bandwidth of multiple decades, who now are ready, willing and able to tackle the environmental and sustainability concerns specific to Indian industry with a truly ‘glocal’ approach towards appropriate technology at optimum costs.
The indifferent approach of the past 20 years, where unsustainable growth has placed the country’s economy and industry at medium term risk, leaves us little choice to indulge in an incremental, piecemeal approach and India and Indian industry must gain by leapfrogging deployment of proven global technologies and best practice in areas like energy conservation, unconventional energy generation & utilization, wastewater recovery & re-use, etc.