“Precast units can revolutionise the manufacturing sector in the state,” opines Faizel E Kottikollan, chairman of the KEF Company which will invest Rs 1,550 crore in the state in various sectors.
“Precast manufacturing is not a new idea. It was started nearly 50 years ago in Finland and is popular in many countries, including the UK and the UAE. It can save time and money and offers a safer manufacturing method. At least 25 per cent of the cost will be saved if we follow the precast method for construction. But we have to change the mindset and get support from the government,” he told Express.
Faizel was in city to attend the plenary session on ‘manufacturing, trade and services: Growth engines of Kerala economy’ held as part of the ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet on Thursday.
As the first step, a Rs 250-crore factory for manufacturing precast units will be set up in a year. It is learned that the KINFRA will allocate 50 acres of land at Kakkanad for the project.
The method is ideal for the construction of low-cost housing complexes, bridges and toilets. “The unskilled construction labourers can be made into skilled workers as work at the site will shift to the factory. We took only one-and-a-half year to complete the construction of Perfect Health Hospital, a 30,000 square metre building in Kozhikode. It would have taken a good four years if we had gone the conventional route for construction.
Though it is safer and can withstand any type of weather conditions, he agreed with the practical difficulties in shifting the huge units from one place to another in the state. “The logistics in the state is not suited 100 per cent,” he said.
The group will invest Rs 800 crore in a mega project at the site of Chelembra Spinning Mills, Kozhikode, which includes a convention centre with a capacity of 3000 seats, a hotel and a shopping mall in addition to the Rs 500 crore Perfect Health Hospital at Karaparamba.
Faizel, an engineer hailing from a traditional business family in Kozhikode, was in the news recently as the US-based Tyco International acquired 75 pc equity in his UAE based KEF Holdings Ltd for approximately $300 million in cash.