KOLHAPUR: The Kolhapur foundry cluster, an ambitious project of local engineering and foundry industries, is in the final stages of completion and likely to start operations by July. Almost 80% work of the cluster, which includes construction of common facility centre and two sand reclamation plants, has been completed.
The special purpose vehicle established for the project of Rs 42 crore has received 80% of the total project cost from the Union government. The remaining 10% will be received by the cluster once the project starts functioning. The state government and industrial associations' share was 10% of the cost, which is already deposited with the cluster.
The work of the two sand reclamation plants at Shiroli industrial area and Gokul Shirgaon industrial estate has been completed. At present, the machines imported from China are being installed.
"We see no hurdle at the moment as everything is in place. We received funds in time and now the construction is complete. We are installing machineries at the sand reclamation plants. It will take another two months to complete the installation and then we can start the plants," said Jaykumar Parikh, an industrialist and managing director of cluster project.
The cluster has invested Rs 16 crore at Shiroli and Rs 14 crore at Gokul Shirgaon for the sand reclamation project. The waste sand had become a headache for the foundry industry in the region for decades. With the growth of industry in last two decades, all the industrial areas were hunting for the methods to dispose of or recycle the waste sand.
"We are expecting to process almost 80% of the waste sand annually. The consumption of sand is huge in the foundry industry and once the recycled sand gets available, it would share the burden effectively," Parikh said.
The cluster will have a common facility centre for testing, CAD/CAM training and electronic library. The construction of the centre is also at the final stage and the facility could be started with the sand reclamation plants.
Usually, 80% of the recycled sand can be used for castings and industrial associations are planning to make bricks from the remaining 20%. As many as five industrial estates such as Kolhapur Engineering Association, Gokul Shirgaon Manufacturers' Association, Shiroli Manufacturers' Association, L K Akiwate industrial estate and Shahu industrial estate have partnered in the cluster project. The Indian Institute of Foundrymen is the sixth sub-cluster functioning in advisory capacity.