Rathi say that the introduction of EPR is driving expansion in the Indian tyre and rubber recycling industry
The recycling industry anticipates huge growth potential in the near future and is investing heavily in building capacities to meet the demand.
Tamil Nadu-based Rathi Group, regarded as a diversified recycling group since its inception in 2012 continues to expand every six months over the past decade. Based at Gummidipoondi Industrial Area, about 45 km from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, Rathi manages four sites with its core business focused on tyre and rubber recycling.
Rathi Rubber India Private Limited is engaged in batch pyrolysis system processing and pyrolysis oil distillation. While Jai Ambe Rubber Products Private Limited is involved in ELT shredding, rubber chips manufacturing and steel cleaning. Rathi Green Energy Private Limited focuses on continuous pyrolysis system processing and Rathi Industrial Enterprises is engaged in rCB (Recovered Carbon Black) processing.
Expansion with focus on technology
“We are investing about INR 270 million in the ongoing expansion spread over all the recycling vertical pyrolysis, recovered carbon black and steel ELT shredding. Our focus remains on continuous expansion along with the adoption of technology by installing the latest machinery,” emphasised Ravi Rathi, Director, Rathi Group.
The technology-driven zero-debt state-of-the-art recycling company has all its sites IoT enabled to track real-time performance like pressure, temperature, and production levels on handheld mobile devices. The pyrolysis operation functions in a modern environmentally sound closed-loop basis. “SynGas generated within the system is used for captive consumption via our SynGas distribution system through which we have saved substantial volume of external fuel and energy cost by optimising the usage of SynGas generated in the process.”
On the evolving potential of the tyre recycling sector, it is estimated that India imports almost 1 million tons of ELTs or used tyres annually with another 2 million generated domestically clearly indicating the market potential.
But it is technology that drives the growth in the future. “Tyre companies are actively seeking partners capable of transforming scrap into technically valuable products. A successful recycling operation necessitates the correct tools, a skilled team, an initiative-taking outlook, and management’s genuine commitment,” adds Rathi.
Fornnax is partner in growth
Rathi Group believes Ahmedabad headquartered Fornnax Technology Pvt Ltd has been an instrumental and continuous partner in growth. Fornnax has now strongly established its credentials in the domestic and global markets with a wide portfolio of recycling lines and solid after-sales service. “Our continued faith in the brand drives us to invest in more machinery from Fornnax. We have almost invested INR 150 million in the ELT shredding and steel cleaning vertical to date and in a recent expansion in May installed a secondary shredder R4000-HD worth INR 50 Million.”
As part of the expansion in ELT shredding and steel cleaning, capacity has been raised by 75,000 MT from the current 50,000 MT to 125,000 MT per annum. Initially, the ELT shredding operation started with one Fornnax line of R2000 model with a capacity of 25,000 MT yearly. In January 2020, a second R2000 was installed thereafter as part of further expansion. Recently, the third which is also a three times bigger line R4000 was commissioned in May 2023, having a capacity of 75,000 MT annually bringing the cumulative capacity to 125,000 MT yearly.
Expanding pyrolysis & recovered carbon black (rCB) capacities
The Rathi Group is also adding additional capacity in the continuous pyrolysis side. “We are also investing about INR 100 million in the expansion of our continuous pyrolysis capacity, adding 7,200 MT raising the capacity to 14,400 MT per annum. The expanded capacity would be online in late August 2023,” informed Ambesh Rathi, Director, Rathi Group.
Meanwhile, the recycler is also in the midst of doubling the capacity of rCB, adding an additional capacity of 6,000 MT, hiking the capacity to 12,000 MT yearly. Rathi forayed into the rCB sector in January 2022; the company has already invested INR 100 million in the rCB business.
“Doubling of rCB capacity is in line with catering for the surging demand from the tyre industry which requires quality rCB to meet sustainability and circularity goals. All the tyre OEMs have to achieve net zero goals by 2050 and we hope to be strongly associated with our buyers and help them achieve the same.”
Rathi Group’s continued expansion and business growth raised its annual revenue to INR 1.75 billion in the last fiscal year. “We have doubled annual turnover in the post-covid phase as the industry experienced huge demand bringing steep hike in turnover.”
Exploring overseas market
Rathi Group has started exploring the overseas market and ventured into the export market in 2021. “We are exporting 50-60 tons of rCB each month to the Sri Lankan and the Middle Eastern markets.”