Holcim to go ahead with US$2bn India expansion plan

Holcim to go ahead with US$2bn India expansion plan
Published: 26 November 2008

Undeterred by slowdown in infrastructure and other related sectors, Holcim said it will go ahead with its US$2bn India expansion plans for enhancing capacities by 2010.

However, the company’s operations in the US, the UK, Spain and India are getting affected due to ongoing crisis.

"There is no question of rethinking.... We will be adding about 14Mt by June 2010," Holcim Executive Committee Member Paul Hugentobler told PTI.

The company is present in India through ACC and Ambuja Cements, in which it had acquired controlling stakes.

"We are investing about US$2bn (over Rs 10,000 crore) for setting up five cement plants and some grinding units under ACC and Ambuja," Hugentobler said.

He said three plants would be added by ACC, while two would go to Ambuja.

As on December 31, 2007, the company had a production capacity of 45Mt through the two firms.

On the impact of economic slowdown, Hugentobler, who is also the in-charge of business for South East Asian countries, said the company has been affected in the US, Spain, the UK and India.

"Compared to last year, we will have substantially lower EBIDTA margin," he said.

While the markets in the US, Spain and the UK suffered from recession, in India the company is affected due to inadequate pricing, Hugentobler added.

"Cement prices in India should be 10-20 per cent higher from the current level," he said.