Lafarge India is planning to hike its production of portland slag cement (PSC) by 0.4Mta which would take its total installed capacity of PSC and fly-ash based portland pozzolona cement (PPC) to 3.4Mta. With this capacity addition, Lafarge India’s total cement-making capacity in the country would stand at 5.4Mta, spread over Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, with 3.1Mta being PPC, 1.9Mta being PSC and another 0.4Mta being ordinary Portland cement (OPC). "Since availability of slag has increased as a result of capacity expansion by Tata Steel, we thought of increasing our PSC capacity by 0.4Mt," said a source. Currently, 0.9Mta of slag generated by Tata Steel goes into its production here of around 1.6Mta PSC. After the steel major’s recent revamp of its biggest ’G’ blast furnace, overall slag availability with the steel major has gone up to an annual 1.2Mta.
This additionally available slag would thus be utilised in Lafarge’s 0.4Mta PSC expansion. "The idea is to consume the entire slag generated by Tata Steel," the source added. Investment in the shape of support equipment like a silo, packing machine, loading platform and a few additional equipment is estimated at around Rs 50 crore. Limited railway infrastructure at its plant here in Jojobera is considered a major constraint in Lafarge’s expansion here as both Tata Power and the cement major share a common railway siding which today has not much scope in increasing its traffic handling capacity.
On a secondary point, Lafarge, which had signed an MoU with the West Bengal government in 2002 for setting up a 1Mta flyash-based PPC plant at Mejhia (near Durgapur) has, for the time being, postponed its decision to do so.