Strata Geosystems is a leading provider of soil reinforcement technology and many geotechnical solutions in India for over a decade now. Customers count on strata geosystems for sustainable, eco-friendly and cost-effective geotechnical solutions. The company constantly endeavours to build trust and surpass customer expectations with high quality geosynthetic products for the infrastructure sector. In an exclusive interview with Textile Value Chain, ShahrokhBagli, Chief Technology Officer of Strata Geosystems (India) Pvt. Ltd. spoke about the company’s recent achievements and future projects in the basket. He also spoke about their two products StrataGrid™ and StrataWeb®

In the box

The official definition of a Geosynthetic is defined as a planar product manufactured from polymeric material used with soil, rock, or other geotechnical engineering related material as an integral; part of a human-made project, structure or system.Geotextiles are a type of geosynthetic

Strata has recently completed the construction of the largest reinforced soil wall project in India. Could you share the facts on this?

Reinforced Soil technology revolves around the reinforcing element. In ancient times these were vegetation slats and today it is generally polymer geogrid. It has proved to be technically superior and the structures comprising the geogrid proved to be economical. Reinforced soil structures are now increasingly adapted in cross-overs and grade separators along highways all over the world.

StrataGeosystems is a market leader in geogridsin India with its manufacturing technology of StrataGrid™ geogrids and execution capabilities. Strata proved its point when it impeccably executed one of the largest projects of its kind in India. Located in the state of Gujarat in India, the congested stretch of NH-48 between Ahmedabad and Vadodara originally comprised of four lanes. This was rather demanding for a vital link of the ambitious Golden Quadrilateral and a major commercial corridor of the state.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) took a strategic decision to expand this stretch to six lanes. Having successfully completed several reinforced soil wall projects, Strata was awarded 46 structures on this project using proven StrataBlock™ technologywhich involves blocks and geogrids. In terms of area, the structures allotted were equivalent to a wall fascia of ~290,000 sqm(3 million sq. ft.).The enormous challenge, apart from the sheer size of the project, was to complete it within a stringent deadline while maintaining quality to international standards.

What is scope of Geosynthetics in India and abroad?

Since the 1970s, geosynthetics have been used internationally with varying degrees of success depending on the criticality of the application. Over the last two decades, engineers developed more confidence in geosynthetics after sustained effort by associations and manufacturers. Geosynthetics have been incorporated in various regulatory codes in construction across different sectors. This has boosted the popularity of geosynthetics in infrastructure globally.

In India, geosynthetic products have been present since early 1990s. However, adoption to these products was slow. Due to the rising prices of natural resources, the elimination of regulatory hurdles, and consistent awareness efforts, the value proposition of geosyntheticshas improved. These products help provide a leaner yet safe structure design, reduce the capital and maintenance costs, speed up the construction time, and provide an environment-friendly finish.

Geosynthetics are now being rapidly incorporated in specifications, codes of practice and guidelines of Bureau of Indian Standards, Indian Road Congress and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Introducing geosynthetics into higher education and in several new sectors will help boost its usage.

Is Strata planning for any new big projects?

Strata Geosystems now has a track record with highway projects across India. Strata provides a turn-key solution: supply of geosynthetics, technical designs, and construction. With its experience, Strata is in a position to take up projects which are very challenging and large scale.  The focus for upcoming projects will be on highways and the use of StrataWeb® in container yards.

Today, our factory in Daman has a capacity to manufacture 9 million square meters of StrataGrid™ geogrids.  We are in the midst of finalizing a new state-of the-art manufacturing plant which will cater to the growing demand. It will be aimed to more than double the current capacity.

You have two products strataGrid™, StrataWeb®,could you brief the product details and what’s their market share?

StrataGrid™ is a geogrid used for soil reinforcement.  These high performance geogrids are constructed of high molecular weight and high tenacity knitted polyester yarn with a proprietary coating.  These geogrids are engineered to be mechanically and chemically durable during the harsh installation phase and aggressive soil environments. Our estimated market share is approximately 40%. Since we do turn-key solutions, we utilise a portion in our own projects itself.

StrataWeb is a light-weight, yet strong cellular confinement system.  It is made of HDPE and engineered intricately with texturing and perforations.  It has been used to solve various civil engineering challenges in roads, railways, ports, canals, and more. Our estimated market share is approximately60%.

Is Strata coming up with any new innovation in the next 2-3 years?

At this juncture, all I can say is “Await the next announcement!”

Strata works in many sectors. Which sector attracts strata the most and why?

We have built a technical and strong reputation in the market.  Developers and consultants in various sectors turn to Strata Geosystems for its expertise and design prowess in geosynthetics to provide safe and cost effective solutions.

Having proven the use of our products in many sectors, we are now looking to enter the industrial and real-estate space with retaining walls, access roads, embankments, and green roofs.

Has GST impacted the technical textile in India? What’s your opinion?

The impact of GST on our area of technical textiles has been neutral. In some cases, our products are not classified explicitly and as a result we have fallen under the “others” category which ends up bearing a higher rate.

Strata is committed to sustainability. What measures are taken to create a sustainable environment?

We constantly ensure that our products are engineered and used in such a way that is environment friendly.By using our advancements in the geogrid and geocell technology, we are able to execute projects with significantly less concrete and steel in reinforced soil walls. This reduces harmful emissions, saves carbon foot-print, and lessens the burden on transportation considerably.

In many of our construction projects, we use fly ash for casting blocks and pondash for reinforced soil back-fill.  This is an innovative way of eliminating the remains of coal by using geosynthetics.We recently completed the first vertical landfill in India using geogrids and geocells! By building the landfill vertically with the use of geosynthetics, we have contained harmful wastes in less land and protected the surroundings by containing the waste effectively.