Binani Cement has put its Dubai expansion plans on hold due to sharp drop in cement demand in the debt-laden country. Instead, the flagship company of the Braj Binani group has started looking for other markets of the Middle East and neighbouring countries to supply excess cement from its Dubai plant.
The realisation has fallen around AED100/t in January from 350 dirham a tonne in November, said MD Vinod Juneja. The company was ready to tap Sudan, Kuwait, Iraq and Oman to sell the produce of the Dubai plant, he added. “We don’t see phenomenal demand for the next couple of years and are shifting the machinery to Mauritius and Gujarat plants,” he said. Binani produces one-fourth of its capacity in Dubai.
Binani had earlier earmarked $90m for expansion in Dubai and China. It is unclear at this point whether the company will go ahead with its plan. When asked, Mr Juneja said the company was yet to take a call on this.
In India, Binani is weighing the idea of setting up a new plant in the eastern part, preferably in Kolkata. This is a part of the company’s plans to increase capacity to 15Mt by 2012 from the existing 8Mt, Mr Juneja added.