Specials

Potential drivers of construction chemicals

April 2019
In future, Basab Saha, Business Head, Dow Construction Chemicals, South Asia expects changing climatic conditions, emerging regulatory standards (like green certification programmes) and continually increasing awareness and demand for quality construction among end-users to spur the uptake of technologies.

Dr Vijay Raman, Business Director, Construction Chemicals, BASF South Asia sees multiple opportunities with the current Government’s focus on developing the manufacturing sector and infrastructure and, of late, traction in the realty sector, where housing inventories finally appear to be declining, albeit at a slow rate.

Other than some hesitation, possibly owing to the election, Preetham Yeada, Associate Vice-President, Commercial & Corporate Strategy, MYK Arment expects the market to do well. It is challenging to assess the potential for construction chemicals but a thumb rule correlates cement output with the current demand for construction chemicals. On this basis, he reckons that only about 5 per cent of the potential has been tapped in India and the same may be attributed to lack of awareness, lack of skill and, to some extent, non-adherence to specifications and design. Of course, the usage is much higher in developed countries.

Basements are likely to present a big opportunity in value terms for the construction chemicals industry, says Yeada. Essentially, better space management and the need to provide parking space are necessitating that buildings go underground, even in smaller cities.

BASF South Asia’s newer products include the MasterSeal range of engineered waterproofing solutions for basements and the protection and waterproofing of water-retaining structures like STPs and ETPs, and speciality admixtures to protect concrete from active corrosion.

Podiums are another area with potential for high-quality construction chemicals as they are subjected to lot of dynamic loads and movements that need proper protection, says Yeada. Third, he sees huge potential in providing waterproofing chemicals for tunnels.

- CHARU BAHRI
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