Associated Cement Co India’s single largest cement company, Tuesday said its production capacity would be increased from 18.3 to 20Mta by the first half of 2005 after its two ongoing projects are completed. The Rs 40.38 billion (US$896.9m) ACC has undertaken modernisation and expansion of its plant in Jharkhand and expansion of the one in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, ACC Executive Director Ashok K Jain told reporters. ACC was investing Rs 3 billion in the Jharkhand project and Rs 700 million in the plant in Himachal Pradesh.
Jain was here to launch "ACC Help Centre", which, he said, was the first step in a host of customer centric initiatives planned across the country. The centre would advise and guide those who intend to get their own house constructed.
Commenting on the outlook for the cement industry, Jain said the growth was "disappointing" last year. The current year started off on a "disappointing note" from April, but had picked now with the growth being in excess of six per cent. The South had lagged behind for the first seven months, but was doing better in the last two months, he said, attributing the poor growth to successive drought and lack of enough developmental activities.