German cement major, Heidelberg Cement, is strengthening its position in India. After buying a controlling stake in Mysore Cement in July, it has now acquired two grinding units in Kerala, according to local news reports.
Heidelberg officials in India were not available for comment. An industry analyst said, "Although these grinding units are small in size, it will help Heidelberg consolidate its position in one of the most stable markets in the south. It is more a strategic fit for Heidelberg’s plans for India which include both organic as well as inorganic growth." Cement prices in Kerala are usually higher by around Rs 5-7 per bag, compared with prices in other southern states, he added.
Indian cement industry is in the midst of a consolidation, with construction and infrastructure demand fuelling the demand. "With the region witnessing one of the highest growth rates in the world after China, global majors like Holcim, Heidelberg and Lafarge have set up shop here to tap the potential demand,’ an industry expert said. "The domestic cement sector has witnessed an average growth of around 8-10% in the last couple of years and the trend is likely to continue for the next 2-3 years," he added.