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The Economic Times

Puzzolana upbeat on new orders with revised road building norms

HYDERABAD: Construction equipment major Puzzolana group, which suffered a setback last few years due to subdued road building sector, now hopes to garner sizeable orders for equipment, pinning hopes on changes the government proposes in the road building sector.

The Hyderabad-based equipment manufacturer with over 45% of Indian construction equipment market of Rs 1,200 crore saw is sales growing at a meagre 10-15% over the last three years as against nearly 100% a year till 2008.

Puzzolana group managing director Abhijeet Pai told media that the government's proposal to allot nearly 80% of road projects on annuity basis in the place of BOT (build, operate and transfer) mode should revive the prospects of road developers. He said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already awarded 4,375km of roads worth around Rs 3 lakh crore in the first nine months of current year, boosting the construction industry.

"With NHAI awarding new projects under the public-private partnership programs and the projects' execution picking up from last year, the Indian construction industry is looking at making up for lost time with flow of funds and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts in 2012," said Thomas Loffler, chief executive officer of Bauma ConExpo Show, an international trade fair of construction industry.

Puzzolana, which claims to have developed innovative construction equipment to help road developers effectively build roads in difficult geographical territories, will showcase its products at the Bauma ConExpo show, which will be held in Mumbai from February 5-8 next year. Sander, one of Puzzolana's equipment to be showcased, will help road developers reduce dependence on mined sand and replace it with sand crushed from available stone, said Pai.

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