Tsunami likely to push up cement offtake in South India

Tsunami likely to push up cement offtake in South India
Published: 30 December 2004

Indian cement makers expect a small increase in the offtake of cement in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Andaman & Nicobar islands due to reconstruction efforts after the destruction caused by the tsunami. A lot, however, depends on how efficiently and quickly the government begins reconstruction of houses and structures washed out by the giant waves. The government is estimated to spend around Rs3000 crore on relief and reconstruction in the tsunami affected areas.

Cement makers hope to garner a part of this by way of the government’s purchase of cement for rebuilding homes and infrastructure in the region. "Surely some part of the relief package will get translated into a higher offtake of cement for housing construction. The quantum will, however, depend on whether affected people rebuild their houses on their own or the government does it for them," said a senior official at ACC, India’s largest cement producer.

Cement makers, however, expect a substantial jump in cement demand from the defence installations in the Andaman & Nicobar islands. The tsunami caused extensive damage to the Navy and Air Force bases on the islands.