ACC to invest in east

ACC to invest in east
Published: 08 September 2006

India’s second-biggest cement maker, Associated Cement Companies Ltd, plans to invest INR11bn ($238.6m) for expansion and setting up readymix concrete plants in eastern India, a senior official said on Thursday.

The company will spend INR5bn over four years to build 50 readymix concrete plants, Ramit Budhraja, the company’s eastern region head, said.

"The new plants will help us manufacture technologically advanced cement and will give us an edge over competitors," he said.

"These plants will be strategically located in major eastern India cities like Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Raipur and Ranchi among others," he added.

When the plants are up and running, ACC will produce 1Mm3 from them annually.

ACC will also invest another 6 billion rupees over the next two years to expand capacity in plants in Bargah in the eastern state of Orissa and Sindri in Jharkhand.

With the expansion in place, the annual cement capacity in eastern India would rise to 7Mt from 5Mt, officials said.

Budhraja also said the outlook for the cement industry remained good as everyone was expanding capacity, creating a balance between supply and demand.

"Beyond 2009, we are expecting a slump as the capacity would be more than demand," he added.
On whether the company is looking for acquisitions in the east, Mr Budhraja said ACC is open to the idea provided assets are available at the right price. On a national level, it plans to increase capacity from 20Mta to 25Mta within the next two years.