Australian METS helps India’s power plants tackle air pollution

Queensland-based RTI makes analysers that monitor the quality of ore and minerals in real time. Austrade has helped RTI to begin exporting to India, by:

  • Introducing RTI to potential clients, including at METS conferences
  • Assisting in the search for a reputable agent in India, to manage technical support
  • Advising RTI on how to manage due diligence on contracts

 In 2019, RTI scored a major commercial success. The company signed a contract with India’s largest power company, NTPC, to install 18 analysers at 5 power plants across India. Once operational this technology will help to reduce air pollution in Delhi and other major cities.

METS technology that helps reduce coal-burning emissions

RTI is a METS innovator, based in Queensland. The company makes analysers that examine ores, minerals and other substances in real-time to identify different grades, moisture levels and other variables.

The analysers are highly versatile. RTI’s moisture analysers are used in a variety of industries including mining, agriculture, chemicals, building materials, food and bio-fuels. Its elemental analysers are used in iron ore mining, coal mining, power plants, cement manufacturing plants and other mineral-processing plants.

In Queensland, RTI analysers detect the quality of coal on conveyor belts that feed power stations. This raises the efficiency of power generation, and helps control the emission of pollutants such as sulphur. In Western Australia, RTI AllScan analysers are being used at one of the world’s biggest iron ore processing operations.

RTI explores the potential for METS exports to in India

With a world-class product, RTI has expanded into global markets over the past decade. In 2013, executives wanted to explore the potential for exporting to India, where most power is coal-generated.

Sanchit Oberoi, Regional Sales Manager for Asia-Pacific, says that RTI began working with Austrade advisers in Queensland to scope the opportunities.

‘RTI analysers had huge potential in India,’ says Oberoi. ‘We could help power companies monitor coal quality and thereby reduce pollutants. Austrade did a lot of the initial groundwork. Advisers helped us to understand the challenges of exporting to India – and how to overcome them.’

Austrade helps RTI to meet export challenges

The biggest challenge to exporting to India was getting potential clients to understand the value that RTI equipment could deliver. Austrade advisers in Delhi helped RTI to identify potential customers. They also set up meetings so that RTI executives could educate its market.

‘We presented a lot of case studies, including from our coal and iron ore reference sites in Australia,’ says Oberoi. ‘This took time, but it was necessary. Also, Austrade helped us to participate into major mining conferences in 2018 and 2019, which gave us the chance to showcase our technology.’

The second big challenge involved export procedures. RTI needed to assemble scores of documents, navigate official import processes and conduct due diligence. Initial contract drafts appeared outdated to Australian commercial lawyers and needed significant change.

‘These are a big challenge for an Australian company – and Austrade advisers in India helped with all of them,’ says Oberoi.

Top tip for METS exporters to India: find a local agent

RTI chose to partner with a local company. This export strategy meant that installation, technical support and after-sales support would all be done by a company in India. This proved especially valuable as initial export contracts were relatively small.

‘Austrade in Kolkata helped us to find a commercial partner – Vishwa Group,’ says Oberoi. ‘Austrade advisors screened candidates and this was a very valuable service. We have to trust that the agent is acting in our interests.’

Oberoi says this strategy gives RTI a competitive edge. ‘Having an agent in India is extremely helpful,’ he says. ‘Our customers want someone local to deal with, day to day, who understands how their business works. This generates confidence. Our agent in India is one of our best-performing.’

RTI helps to tackle air pollution in Delhi and across India

In 2019, export efforts paid off. RTI signed a major contract with India’s biggest power generator, NTPC. This involved installation of 18 analysers at 5 power generation sites across India.

During 2020–21, RTI real-time coal analysers were installed at NTPC’s Dadri Power plant, near Delhi. The analysers monitor coal quality in real time as the fuel is fed into the plant’s boiler-furnace conveyor belts. The devices monitor ash, sulphur, moisture and energy density.

RTI technology will help to improve air quality in Delhi by reducing the amount of sulphur and other pollutants that are released into the atmosphere, according to local reports. RTI analysers are also being installed in plants in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and West Bengal.

Growing opportunities for Australian METS in India

Oberoi has travelled extensively in India to promote RTI technology. He witnessed profound change in India’s mining industry in the period leading up to the pandemic.

‘Things are changing very quickly in India,’ he says. ‘There is a growing awareness that Australian METS is first class.’

He notes that many Australian companies think that India is just too hard to tackle as an export market. But he notes that attitudes are changing in Australia too.

‘Large Indian mining companies are beginning to revise their tendering processes, so that it’s easier for overseas METS to pitch for business,’ says Oberoi. ‘Austrade is playing a pivotal role in this. The Australia-India Business Exchange (AIBX) organises conferences that provide valuable insights for Indian companies on how best to connect with global suppliers.

‘The potential in India is very promising: these are exciting times.’

How Austrade can help

Austrade is ramping up initiatives to help Australian companies export to India. This is because opportunities are growing fast. 

Market liberalisation is affecting multiple sectors of the Indian economy – from mining to passenger transport. India is on target to become a US$5 trillion economy by 2025. 

To help Australian businesses explore and pursue opportunities, the Australian Government has launched the Australia India Business Exchange (AIBX) program. 

AIBX provides insights, advice, and business connections to grow two-way trade and investment between Australia and India. 

Find out how to get involved in AIBX. Contact Austrade online or call 13 28 78.

About Austrade

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency.

We deliver quality trade and investment services to businesses to grow Australia’s prosperity. We do this by generating and providing market information and insights, promoting Australian capability, and facilitating connections through our extensive global network.

To discover how we can help you and your business, visit austrade.gov.au or contact us on 13 28 78 (within Australia).