Kolkata-based Shree Cement Ltd (SCL), which runs the largest single-location integrated cement factory in northern India, is eyeing foreign shores.
H M Bangur, managing director, Shree Cement told DNA Money over telephone, "We are not only expanding in the domestic market but scouting for space abroad too." He, however, declined to give away details.
Sources, however, said the Rs 1,500 crore firm is looking to expand operations to Libya, Israel and Sudan. The management has sent a few key people to survey these markets and they will submit a report soon, they said.
The expansion spree continues at home, too, as the company tries to tap the unexplored markets in the northern region, where it has a strong presence. Its marketshare is the highest in Delhi. Even in Haryana, it has a higher share than Grasim Industries and Gujarat Ambuja.
The company aims to augment production capacity from the present 7.1Mta to 9.1Mta with the commissioning of a new grinding unit of 2Mta by June 2008.
The bigger target is to produce 20Mta by the end of 2012.
The company gets the maximum business volumes by catering to the markets of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Bangur said, "In the process of tapping newer markets, we have entered into a memorandum of understanding with Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments for exploration of limestone mines in the states."
Cost management has been an area of strength for Shree Cement, enabling it to operate at a margin of 44.72%, comparable to peers like ACC, Gujarat Ambuja, Ultratech and J K Cements.
Shree Cement has recently boosted its production capacity by setting up a 3000tpd greenfield project at village Ras, in Pali district of Rajasthan with an investment of about Rs 300 crore.
Further, it has set up two grinding units at Khushkhera in Alwar, Rajasthan of 2Mta and 1.5Mta capacities, respectively, which give it the single-largest grinding capacity in the country. Khushkhera is located closer to the major northern markets and also to the sources of fly ash, the basic raw material, in west Uttar Pradesh, Bangur reasoned, adding, it will help the company save on transportation cost.