Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL), the flagship company of the Jaiprakash group, is planning to set up an integrated cement unit in India’s north-east region. The move is part of a company strategy to manufacture cement in the excise-exempted area and, in turn, improve its bottomline. It is eyeing a market in excess of 15Mta over coming years.
At the same time, the company is now setting up a cement unit in Himachal Pradesh, which too is an excise-free zone. The Himachal unit is likely to be operational by 2007. Incidentally, Himachal, Uttaranchal, J & K and NE are now enjoying a 10-year excise holiday.
One of the directors of JAL, Pankaj Gaur informed that the firm is exploring the possibility of setting up a cement unit in NE. Gaur opined that NE is an ideal location for cement unit due to availability of limestone and the excise exemption.
"There are lot of small cement players in NE but cement majors have yet to start production facilities in the region. Besides, there could be potential demand from Bangladesh and Myanmar. The infrastructure spending in NE is also growing. So we are looking at it positively," he said.