Mining suspended at Chittorgarh
Birla Corporation has been forced to suspend limestone mining at Chittorgarh following a court order banning mining activities within 10 km of Chittorgarh Fort. The plant has sufficient stocks for 6 – 7 days at its Chanderia plant, and reportedly plans to take legal measures to have the order revoked.
Chittorgarh is the main cement producing district in Rajasthan, an area with extensive cement-grade limestone reserves.
The Minister of State for Environment and Forests has responded to a question regarding the controls the ministry is imposing on cement plants in terms of carbon emissions. The answer is copied directly from the Press Information Bureau, Government of India, below:
‘There are 158 large cement plants in the country, of which, 13 and 7 plants are located in Gujarat and Chhattisgarh respectively. Emission standards for particulate matter in cement industry have been notified. Compliance of these standards is monitored regularly by the state pollution control board concerned. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also undertakes monitoring periodically under Environment Surveillance Squad Scheme. As per CPCB, one plant in Gujarat and two plants in Chhattisgarh are not complying with the emission standards. Directions under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 have been issued by the CPCB to two cement plants in Chhattisgarh to upgrade the air pollution control devices in a time bound manner whereas, directions under Section 31 ‘A’ of the Air Act, 1981 have been issued in case of one non-compliant plant in Gujarat by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply to a question by Shri Kunvarjibhai M. Bavaliya and Shrimati Kamla Devi Patle in Lok Sabha today [29 August].
Analysts predict continuation of demand-supply glut
Analysts are not expecting any improvements in results at the end of the July – September quarter, saying the demand-supply glut is likely to continue. Crisil Research reports that capacity is going to rise by 60 million tpa over the next two years, while demand will rise by just half of that, forcing utilisation rates down to around 72% in 2012 – 13 from the current 78%. Moreover, fuel and energy costs are increasing – likely by 18% by the next financial year, which will further dampen profits. Analysts also believe that an increase in effective excise duty rates will put pressure on price realisations, potentially lowering them by 2 – 4%. Demand has been affected by the season, but also by a slowdown in government-led infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, input costs have risen significantly and Ambit Capital has stated: “meaningful volume and pricing growth recovery is at least 12 – 18 months away”.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/asia-pacific-rim/30082011/environmental_and_business_news_from_across_india/