Ambuja Cements, a part of the Holcim group, is planning to double its capacity to 35Mt in the next five years. The country’s second largest cement maker is already in the process of expanding its capacity.
At a time when other comparatively smaller players were doubling and even tripling their capacities in the next few years, it was crucial for Ambuja to maintain its presence in the domestic market, said a company official.
“In another two years, we will have a capacity of 27Mt. Two years later, we can go for another 10Mt to reach around 35Mt capacity,” said A L Kapur, managing director, Ambuja Cements.
Currently, the Rs 5,705-crore company has an installed capacity of 18.5Mt and is undergoing grinding capacity addition in Dadri (Uttar Pradesh), Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh, Sanad in Gujarat and Barh in Bihar. These projects are stipulated to be completed by 2010.
“The Nadikudi plant in Andhra Pradesh is under our consideration. After the commissioning of our clinker plants in Bhatapara and Rauri by 2009, we will carry the proposal to the board. The kiln capacity of the new plant will be 1,000 tonnes per day. Along with it, we have plans for a plant in Rajasthan too,” said Kapur. The capacity of the kilns at the Rajasthan plant is expected to be around 17,000tpd.
The company went slow on its Nadikudi plant as it was not possible to continue with two plants. The other plant was in Maratha in Maharashtra, which produced over 3Mt of cement last year. For Nadikudi, Ambuja has already got the land as well as the environment clearances.
According to industry analysts, the investment required for these two plants, which amount to an overall capacity of around 10Mt, will be not less than Rs 4,000 crore.
The company recently got the approval for its grinding unit in Sanad near Ahmedabad with a capacity of 1.5Mt. The investment earmarked for it is Rs 250 crore and is likely to be commissioned by the first quarter of 2009.
Along with it, the company is in the process of setting up two new grinding units in Bhatapara (Chhattisgarh) and Rauri (Himachal Pradesh) with a capacity of 2.2Mta each. The company currently operates its 10 plants including grinding and clinker units.