India is poised to achieve a significant milestone by 2023 as it becomes one of the first countries to eradicate the use of electric detonators to trigger the main explosive. Over 60 years old, GOCL Corporation Limited has been an active player in the Indian mining explosives market. Recently, the company has focused on diversifying its already heterogeneous product portfolio, including energetics and explosives, special projects, and realty. It has also entered the EMS and electronics market. In an email interaction, Pankaj Kumar, MD & CEO of GOCL Corp. Ltd, discussed the progressive trends of electronic detonators in India and the world
Q. How do you see the fact that the Indian government is phasing out the electric detonators?
A. As per the government of India notification, electric detonators are to be phased out from April 2024. The decision is primarily driven by the need to address security concerns and prevent the potential misuse of such explosive devices by anti-social elements, terrorist organisations, and individuals with malicious intent. Electric detonators, due to their electrical initiation mechanism, have the potential to be triggered remotely, making them susceptible to unauthorised use.
Q. How has the overall demand and supply for electronic detonators been in the last 2-3 years? What are the key factors that have affected it?
A. Over the past 2 to 3 years, the demand for electronic detonators has witnessed significant growth, primarily due to the rapid development and expansion happening in various sectors in India. With the country experiencing a growth rate of 7-8%, there has been a substantial increase in mining activities, infrastructure development projects, and the construction of critical transportation links such as the North East Link and tunnel networks. This has simultaneously increased the demand for efficient and safe explosive solutions that aid in excavation, blasting, and controlled demolition processes.
Additionally, the focus on safety and compliance has intensified, leading to a shift towards using electronic detonators over conventional alternatives. Electronic detonators offer enhanced precision, accuracy, and control, resulting in improved safety measures during blasting operations. These innovative detonators also provide greater flexibility and precision in blasting operations, enabling more efficient resource utilisation and minimising environmental impact.