Displaying items by tag: Zuari
Zuari Cement's ground breaking of a new port-side packing terminal in Kochi, Kerala is the latest Indian cement news story with an eye on the sea. The Italcementi subsidiary's terminal won't be open until 2015 but the move shows that Indian producers are starting to tackle industry over-capacity through shipping lanes.
The Italcementi subsidiary holds two integrated cement plants and a grinding plant in Andhra Padesh and Tamil Nadu, two of India's biggest cement-producing states. In 2013 Italcementi reported that cement consumption fell for the first time in 10 years. Although Italcementi's cement and clinker sales rose by 1.6% in India in 2013, its revenue fell by 14% to Euro214m. Profit indicators like earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) also fell. Targeting Kerala, one of the country's smallest cement producing states (0.6Mt/yr in 2013), makes sense.
Zuari Cement isn't the only Indian cement producer with its eye on shipping or on Kerala. At the end of March 2014, Gujarat producer Sanghi Industries announced plans to invest US$25m in ships and sea terminals. It plans to acquire six vessels in the next five years. It is also in the process of setting up terminals at Navlakhi port in Gujarat and at Mumbai port in Maharashtra.
Sanghi has stated that its aims are to find new markets, reduce fuel costs and increase its distribution networks. In an interview with Alok Sanghi, the director of Sanghi Cement, for a forthcoming issue of Global Cement Magazine, Sanghi revealed that Kerala is one of the four markets the producer focuses on within India (alongside Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra).
Neighbouring Pakistan is no stranger to exporting its cement around the world. Frequent complaints from east and south African press and cement producers attest to this. However, this week's story about plans to build the country's first 'dirty cargo' terminal at Port Qasim, Karachi marks a change from the normal narrative.
According to a Pakistan cement producer who Global Cement interviewed earlier in 2014, coal is the most common fuel used to fire cement kilns following a shift from gas in recent years. Subsequently coal prices rose, leading to higher cement prices in the country. A new terminal with the capacity to handle 12Mt/yr of coal (growing to 20Mt/yr in a second phase of the build) could certainly help cut input prices for the industry.
The producer also mentioned that most of the coal that Pakistan currently uses is imported from Indonesia and South Africa. So, indirectly, the South African coal industry appears to be making money helping to make Pakistan cement that eventually arrives back in South Africa to undercut local cement producers! They say that market always finds a way. Ships certainly help.
India: Italcementi subsidiary Zuari Cement has held the ground breaking ceremony for a cement packing terminal in Kochi, Kerala. The port-based facility will be ready by the third quarter of 2015 and it will have a packing capacity of 1Mt/yr of cement. Roberto Callieri, zone director of the group, was the chief guest at the ceremony.
India: Zuari Cement plans to expand its cement production capacity with a 3Mt/yr cement in Gulberga. The Italcementi subsidiary has invested US$400m towards capacity development in spite of what it called 'tough' market conditions. Other projects include setting up a grinding plant in Solapur and a terminal at Kochi.
In July 2012 L&T filed for arbitration proceedings against the cement maker to claim US$33.8m in unpaid bills and payment delays. L&T alleged that Zuari failed to pay US$5.66m it owed to the engineering company for the construction of a 5500t/day cement plant at Yeraguntala in Andhra Pradesh. L&T claimed the rest of the amount as a penalty for payment delay and for cashing a performance guarantee.
India: Heidelberg and major Indian cement companies including UltraTech and Reliance Cements have shown interest as joint venture partners in state-run Rashtriya Ispat Nigam's (RINL) proposed USD204m cement plant at Vizag, in Andhra Pradesh.
"We are looking for a partner to set up a 3Mt/yr plant at Vizag. Heidelberg, Ultratech and Reliance Cements have shown interests to be our joint venture partner," RINL Chairman and Managing Director A P Choudhary said. Zuari Cements, Bhavya Cements, JP Cements and Binani Cements have also shown interests in the joint venture.
"The finalisation of the partner will not take more than 2-3 months from now. We will be able to establish the joint venture before the end of the current fiscal year," Choudhary said.
Asked how much of a stake the steel-maker would offer to its partner, Choudhary said that no decision has been taken yet. However RINL is willing to give up to 74% to the partner since cement making is not its core business. The proposed venture will use fly ash and slag generated from RINL's Vizag plant, where the capacity will shortly be increased from 3Mt/yr to 6.4Mt/yr.
Around USD204m in investment will be required to set up the cement plant, Choudhary said, adding that the cost would be borne by the two firms according to the shareholding pattern. Production at the plant is likely to commence two years from the start of construction.