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Turbaashu Bhattacharya, Business Unit Head, Roserve Enviro PVT. LTD

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Making Every Drop Count

ROserve-Innovative Solutions for Industrial Wastewater Treatment & Recycling

How much can waste water treatment help to combat fresh water shortage around the world?
We are looking at an acute water scarcity across the world today & the United Nations have developed a list of Sustainable Development Goals which help in managing our natural resources. In this context, the 3Rs of Sustainability i.e. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle have become extremely critical which all the world is looking at. In a place like Bangladesh, year on year there is a depletion of groundwater levels, because all the industries are withdrawing water from the ground, and every year ground water depletes by 2-3 meters. In case an industry goes for recycling, it means that whatever groundwater withdrawal they are making, major portion of it is recycled and used back in the process so the overall water consumption comes down to a large extent. That’s why we are saying if you are doing waste water management you are cutting down on your water consumption which is ultimately going to help the world meet its water needs. Since water table is depleting day by day, going forward we can mitigate water consumption if we follow the 3R process & also help in recharging the groundwater level by discharging industrial wastewater which conforms to the regulatory parameters.

Conservation is most effective if it is done at the right moment. Unfortunately, in South Asia we are running late. People have drawn water to a large extent and in some places in India there is water shortage going on which is leading to disputes among people for water. What we suggest is if we start recycling today, then maybe 7-8 years down the line we can expect the water table to reach back to current levels. There is no time to waste. We should start from today. It is a critical situation across South Asia, and all stakeholders should understand this and accordingly plan their business activities, and we are also ensuring that by providing the best possible solutions for Recycle & Reuse.

ROSERVE is a joint venture between Danish Climate Investment Fund (DCIF) and Concord Enviro Systems Pvt. Ltd is there a specific reason behind the merger? What role does Danish Climate Investment Fund (DCIF) play in this venture?
The Danish government has invested in ROSERVE Enviro, through the Danish Climate Investment Fund (DCIF) – which is a fund owned by the government of Denmark. The investment has come through International Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) which is basically a fund for developing countries. The Danish government as well the Danish people are very conscious and particular about environmental needs. They are leaders in the green-tech and clean-tech space, and they have seen that through this solution based tech that ROSERVE is providing, they find that they are able to meet the sustainability norms, as well as at the same time ensure that the carbon footprints of all industries across the globe are cut down. ROSERVE is basically Reverse Osmosis + Service, so we are saying that we’re providing reserve-osmosis tech for wastewater management on service model. Service model means we are going to set up the equipment of wastewater recycling or a wastewater treatment plant in the industrial houses. We are going to recycle the water for them as per their customization while at the same time ensuring they meet the pollution norms as well as that carbon footprints are lessened to a large extent. In totality, what we are saying is that we are going to provide the equipment, we are going to run it, operate and maintain it, and at the end of the day we are going to provide the client with the desired output he is looking for in terms of both quantity and quality. This is an innovation, and that’s why DCIF has invested in ROSERVE, and we are getting a lot of good engagement across India and Bangladesh also by showcasing this model. We are seeing that this kind of model is a boon for all industries especially Medium & Small-Scale Enterprises who have difficulty in generating enough capex for such kind of equipment.

DCIF along with Concord Enviro PVT LTD., a leader in the Wastewater management sector for the last 25 years are each holding 49% equity stake in this company. The Danish JV feels that the solution we have proposed in ROSERVE will be able to ensure that the 3Rs are met as well as at the same time ensuring that the carbon footprints are lessened to a large extent. Most importantly the norms – like pollution norms, environmental norms across whichever country we are operating in are all achieved at the same time.

Tell us more about the ‘Pay as You Treat’ model.
It is a very unique kind of model whereby we are saying that we are giving equipment to the client based on their requirement. We are going to set up the requisite equipment for them and based on their requirement, we are going to run it, manage its entire lifecycle, its depreciation, operation and maintenance, and at the end of the day what we are going to provide the client is X quantity of water at a Y price. If a client does recycle for 100 cubic meter of wastewater, we are going to charge him based on that, so that is how it is “Pay as you use”. Ultimately at the end of the day the kind of flexibility the scheme offers the client is unmatched and the client doesn’t need to worry about anything else. Clients can focus on their production and processes leaving the waste water management to specialists like us. Most importantly our equipment are also Energy Efficient ensuring minimal energy footprint for client’s.

In Bangladesh, the industrial sector is primarily made up of textile factories, what are the scopes of wastewater treatment here?
In Bangladesh the RMG industry is one of the leading industries, and across the world people are aware that Bangladesh is the leader in the RMG sector. Unfortunately, in the last 4-5 years it has been seen in terms of water usage in the RMG sector has increased to a large extent & we really need to reduce it. But I can say that 3 years back people started realizing the problems of water, and they are trying to cut down the usage of water while at the same time looking at recycling options. One thing which is very important here is that the government has come out with a plan for all textile industries which are operating in Bangladesh to have a Zero-Liquid Discharge (ZLD)system in place before they go for renewals because operating license must be renewed every year. For new industries it is mandatory to have a ZLD system plan in place, then only they can get a permit. Looking at the way progress is happening; people have become aware of the importance of cutting down on water consumption and recycling the water back. We can say, even though the textile industry is using a lot of water, however, with the sort of recycling activities that are happening we will be able to save a lot of water in the long run, and put it back in the groundwater table through controlled discharge and recharge the aquifer levels.

How about the costs? Is it financially feasible for our country?
Our pay per use model is very cost friendly for all the industries, as we are not putting any initial investment cost for the client. That is important for any kind of business because they don’t have to do any kind of investment. This kind of technology needs to be upgraded every 3-4 years, especially ZLD technologies. Here through our model we are saying we are going to take care of everything, be it a technology upgrade we will handle it with a very nominal additional cost. What I plan to say initially is you don’t have to worry about the cost portion, we will give you the best possible solution, and at the same time if there is an upgrade we will take you to the next level of tech. In terms of cost, no initial investment, only the running cost as well as the cost for the recovery of the capital investment is to be paid and this is going to be as per the norms of the industry. We cannot go beyond a certain norm and be out of the market in terms of cost economics. I can say it with confidence that cost will not be a factor for industries that want to go for Zero-Liquid Discharge. ZLD is very expensive, but at the same time we can say since they need not worry about the tech, they can go for it leaving aside the operational worries to experienced people like us to take care and manage it for them. The cost factor can always be discussed, and the best possible solution can be worked out accordingly. We can also devise recycling solutions utilizing minimum space incl. Containerized systems with nominal additional cost to ensure minimum area footprint because space is a constraint for RMG factories in Bangladesh.

How many countries does ROSERVE operate in? How successful have the previous portfolios been?
ROSERVE is a startup, operating since the last 3 years. We started operations in October 2016, and as of now we are operating in India, but if you look at our parents – DCIF which is part of the Government of Denmark and the other partner being Concord Enviro PVT LTD you can safely say that we’re leaders in the field of Wastewater recycling & treatment. Concord Enviro PVT LTD is a company which is in the field of wastewater management since the last 25 years and was founded in 1992, and it operates across the globe. We have got around 1200 installations in India operating under the brand name of Rochem, and more than 600 installations across other countries outside India. We have been very successful with our Plate & Tube RO membrane model of recycling, and that is how I think DCIF got confidence to form a joint venture with Concord Enviro PVT LTD. Our current scope of operations encompasses places in Africa, South East Asia, Middle East and some places in Europe.

Previous portfolios have been successful, in fact our biggest client now is an Indian MNC in the Textile space having their set up across the globe. Till now whatever equipment we have set up are running smoothly. Since again at the end of the day we are doing the operation and maintenance of those equipment, as of now no failures have been reported and we are very confident about our tech so we say we are doing the operational maintenances you don’t need to worry about anything.

In Bangladesh, the RMG industry is growing by leaps and bounds, but at the same time we need to look into water conservation as a very important aspect for them. I will definitely say industries need to look into this as one of their business goals. A lot of things are happening under sustainability through the UN promoted SDG’s. All I am saying is do business the right way by protecting the environment, not taking from the environment, and for that we are here to support you. In terms of tech, we will be providing you all the latest and updated tech and using such kind of technology will be beneficial for the industries in the long run.

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