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Cement production news from India

World Cement,

Birla Expands

Birla Corporation (the flagship company of the M P Birla Group) has announced that it has successfully completed the second phase of the capacity expansion programme at Satna covering debottlenecking of the clinker capacity. Clinker capacity at the plant has been increased from 7400 tpd to 9600 tpd. In addition to manufacturing cement, the company is also engaged in the manufacture of jute goods, pvc, floor covering, iron and steel casting, and auto trims.

Finding New Fuels

It is known that companies such as Grasim Industries, ACC, and Shiva Cement have started to use alternative fuels such as car tyres and rice husk as fuel substitutes for their plants, but other cement companies are exploring similar techniques to deal with fuel shortages.

“As coal prices are rising, there is no other option but to use alternative fuels such as tyres, saw dust and sewage as alternatives, though the percentage is currently small,” said Shree Cement’s Managing Director, Hari Mohan Bangur. JK Cement also has plans to use alternatives such as city waste, tyres and saw dust.

RD Gupta, CMD, Shiva Cement, issued a warning about the increased cost of raw materials. “We have recently started using char as an alternative for coal. As cost saving is concerned, one needs to see things in the long term. Initially, it’s around 3% of total raw material cost but it will increase to 5-10% in the next few years.”

Analysts such as Angel Securities predict that the Indian cement industry is likely to face a coal crunch in the short-to-medium term, and companies will have to adopt tough measures as importing coal will be a costly proposition. Industry experts are saying that, as there is a gap between the demand and supply of coal, companies will have to seek alternatives.

Over the next three years Indian cement manufacturers will add 110 million t to their current production capacities at an investment of about Rs 50 000 crore. Today India has more than 70 cement companies at a total installed capacity of 260 million t.

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