Mini-cement plants in Andhra Pradesh, India recorded a growth of 14.23 per cent in despatches during the financial year 2003-04. The despatches inclusive of supplies to other states were 1.958Mt during 2003-03 and 1.714Mt in 2002-03. Exports to other states amounted to 300,000t last year. A mini cement plant in India is one having a total installed capacity of not exceeding 900tpd although most are below 500tpd. They are given concession in excise duty due to their economic benefits for the rural areas.
Of the 30 mini-cement plants located in Andhra Pradesh, only 11 operated during the year ended March 31, 2004. The total capacity of operating units is around 2.9Mt. Of these units eight are rotary technology-based units, while the remaining three utilise vertical shaft kiln (VSK) technology. Rotary plants require coal as fuel whereas VSK plants use coke dust or coke breeze as fuel.
Explaining the causes for the recent closure of 19 mini-cement plants in Andhra Pradesh, which include two rotary plants, the industry sources said that the cost of cement manufactured in a mini-cement plant was higher by around Rs400 at Rs1200 per tonne as compared to Rs800 for a large cement plant.