India’s ACC has chalked out a capex plan of close to Rs 500 crore for the current fiscal, which would involve large-scale expansion in its grinding capacity. The cement major, in which Holcim has 34.7 per cent stake, has decided to pump in around Rs 170 crore in its cement manufacturing facility at Lakheri in Rajasthan, where the capacity would be augmented from 0.6Mt to 1.5Mt. Besides, the company is putting in around Rs 100 crore at the same facility for a 25 MW captive power unit.
"We plan to invest around Rs 475 crore this year on capacity expansions. A large part of the investment would go towards our expansion programme at Lakheri and Chaibasa," ACC’s president (finance) NH Italia said. Even as plans are on to go for an acquisition in the current fiscal itself, especially in the eastern region, ACC is close to completing its modernisation project at Chaibasa in Jharkhand, which would include a clinkerisation unit with a capacity of 1.3Mt and installation of a 15 MW captive power plant. Besides, the company is also expanding its grinding capacity at Gagal in Himachal Pradesh. Following the expansion, the company’s total installed capacity would stand increased to 20.6Mt
In the meantime, ACC is working on improving productivity at Orissa-based Bargarh Cement, which is set to be merged with its parent. "We have been working on optimisation of the manufacturing unit, and our grinding capacity has risen to 1.2Mt. Although the cement demand in the region is strong, we are not planning to expand our capacity further," Mr Italia said.