Though the Central government is yet to come out with a vehicle scrappage policy, a New Zealand-based NRI of Punjab origin has set up India’s first auto shredding plant in Punjab. It has a capacity to shred around two lakh vehicles per annum. Besides End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs), it can also shred other metal wastes such metal sheets and heavy appliances.
Sources in the state government said a major automobile manufacturer is also interested to set up a shredding unit in the state and working on modalities.
ELVs are becoming a big concern for the government, primarily due to lack of adequate infrastructure to handle such a large number of old vehicles across the country. Currently, ELVs in India end up in unorganised scrap markets where these are dismantled and scrapped. Mayapuri in Delhi, Kurla in Mumbai and Shivajinagar in Bengaluru are some of the well-known markets for scrapping old vehicles.
Earlier in July, the National Green Tribunal had said the number of ELVs would be more than 21 million by 2025. Approximately nine million vehicles, of which 75% are two-wheelers, will be due for scrapping by next year, the NGT noted, saying there was an immense potential for vehicle shredding units.
The vehicle scrapping policy has been under the government’s consideration for long but is yet to be implemented. This is acting as a deterrent to many players who wish to venture into this field.
Ludhiana-based BLal Steel Shredding (P) Ltd is importing raw material to the extent of 60-70% and the rest is sourced locally for shredding purpose.
“The plant has a capacity to handle two lakh cars per annum and has been set up in technical collaboration with German technology. This unit will reduce the state’s dependence on imports,” said Rakesh Jindal, director, BLal Steel Shredding Pvt. Ltd.
He said the project was initiated by Vipan Garg, managing director of the company, who is also running a similar auto shredding plant in New Zealand for over a decade. The technology is already being used in various countries.
The ELVs are put through the shredder after the same have been de-polluted (all the fluids are taken out) to turn them into fist-sized, uniform pieces of metal scrap that is ideal to be melted in furnaces. The plant is completely emission-free.
The setting up of shredding unit would bring about a culture of recycling to solve the issue of waste metal management. Besides disposing of a large number of obsolete vehicles in an environment-friendly manner, it aims to cater to the rising demand of metal scrap which is not readily available in the country.
The setting up of this unit will go a long way in promoting the local industry, especially furnace industry in Mandi Gobindgarh and steel units in Ludhiana. In North, another shredding unit is coming up in Rohtak but it is likely to be operational by next year.