Although the company has the capability of producing both ordinary Portland cement and Portland Pozzolana cement, we have taken a strategic decision to concentrate on the production and marketing of our value-added Shree Ultra Red Oxide Cement a new generation cement with rust-retardant properties, Shree Cements managing director, HM Bangur told FE.
In the next two years, we may even switch over our entire capacity to produce this new product if the market response is good, he added.
Shree Cement, which reported Rs 6.70 crore net profit on a turnover of Rs 582.43 crore in 2002-03 fiscal, has a 2.6 million tonne (mt) capacity plant at Beawar near Ajmer in Rajasthan.
The Ultra Red Oxide Cement acts in two ways to arrest the formation of rust in construction. First, it forms a protective layer on the steel to prevent formation of rust. Second, it acts to fill up the pores in the concrete which otherwise allows steel to be exposed to moisture and air to form rust.
Even if some amount of moisture and air permeates the concrete, the protective layer on the steel ensures no formation of rust, Mr Bangur said.
The lime containing rocks of Rajasthan, crushed to a fine powder, is mixed with a special chemical additive and burnt in a kiln to eradicate moisture and other impurities.
Furthermore, the 1,400 degree centigrade temperature in the kiln melts the mixture resulting in the integration of the chemical with each particle of rock powder.
The resultant mixture is reverted to powder form and then ground with other ingredients to manufacture this cement.
Mr Bangur said the product had already been test marketed in Delhi and the result was encouraging. Soon the product will be marketed in various parts of Rajasthan, Delhi and Punjab where Shree Cement has a dominant presence.
With the introduction of such a cement for the first time in India, we intend to undertake focussed retail marketing initiatives even at the semi-urban areas to increase our sales considerably, he added.
The company is also planning to sell its cement, mostly through dealers network and try to come out of institutional selling. This would help in improving our cash-flow. The dealers pay us in advance, while the institutions pay after 90 to 100 days of submission of bills, he pointed out.
During 2002-03 fiscal, Shree Cements cost of production per tonne of cement was Rs 648.
On May 8, the company has commissioned a 36 mw captive power plant investing Rs 120 crore.
This new plant will enable the company to save Rs 2 per unit and the production cost of its cement is slated to dip to Rs 548 crore per tonne. The company at present consumes 75 units to produce a tonne of cement.