India’s fourth largest cement manufacturer, Gujarat Ambuja Cement Limited, is going in for capacity addition either through fresh acquisition or brownfield expansion. "The company cannot remain static... it has to grow," GACL Chairman Suresh Neotia, when asked whether it was planning capacity expansion either through fresh acquisition or brownfield expansion. Neotia said associate company Ambuja Cement Eastern Limited was going for a 50 per cent capacity expansion and awaiting necessary approval.
To a query, the GACL Chairman said the demand for cement seemed to be picking up and prices were also looking good. "From January onwards, we are expecting a significant improvement in demand as well prices," he said. "This year (2004), we are expecting a good growth in cement demand," Neotia added. He also said the cement demand was expected to grow at the rate of 11-12 per cent considering 8 per cent growth in GDP last year, but till December 2003, the overall demand grew only by about 4.5 per cent. Neotia said till July-September quarter of 2003-04, there was a glut in the cement market which was "very bad for the industry." "With expectation of a significant growth in GDP this year also it is assumed that cement demand in the country will grow by 7-8 per cent," he said.