Dalmia Cement (Bharat), a subsidiary of Dalmia Bharat, has announced a capacity addition of 2.3 million tonne at its Bengal Cement Works (BCW) unit in West Bengal at an investment of Rs 360 crore. This addition will increase BCW unit’s overall capacity to 4 million tonne per annum, making it the largest cement plant in West Bengal.
Ujjwal Batria, chief operating officer, Dalmia Cement Bharat, said the company expects a 4-6% growth for the full year despite a negative first quarter. Lifting has started improving from Q2, with October witnessing a formidable growth. Though November was impacted due to the festive months, lifting has once again picked up in December, he said.
“For the fiscal 2021, we can forecast a demand growth between 7-9% and this is likely to happen due to the demand improving in both the trade and institutional channels,” Batria said.
He said the cement sector divides its business into trade and institutional segments. With the state and Union government giving fresh impetus to infrastructure building and low-cost housing, the cement sector has been witnessing a demand growth from the institutional segment.
The industry is not expecting significant price movement immediately, Batria said. At present, cement price in the eastern market is at an average `300 a bag, but it could vary from state to state and district to district depending on the logistics cost. Cement price in the northern markets is at an average `340 a bag.
Recently, Credai had complained to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) about an abnormal increase of 40-50% in cement prices. The CCI had raided cement factories of ACC, UltraTech, Dalmia, Birla Cements and others.
Batria said the raids would not lead to any price correction, and the price movement would depend on demand and supply.
Dalmia Cement has deployed latest machinery and technology to produce 100% blended cement to reduce carbon footprint as part of its commitment to become carbon negative by 2040. Dalmia Bharat produces 26.5 MT from 13 units across nine states. It markets cement in the brand names of Dalmia Cement, Konark Cement and Dalmia DSP Cement.