Business Tycoons - Cement Industry

Introduction

India is the second largest producer of cement in the world. No wonder, India's cement industry is a vital part of its economy, providing employment to more than a million people, directly or indirectly. Ever since it was deregulated in 1982, the Indian cement industry has attracted huge investments, both from Indian as well as foreign investors.

India has a lot of potential for development in the infrastructure and construction sector and the cement sector is expected to largely benefit from it. Some of the recent major initiatives such as development of 98 smart cities are expected to provide a major boost to the sector.

Expecting such developments in the country and aided by suitable government foreign policies, several foreign players such as Lafarge-Holcim, Heidelberg Cement, and Vicat have invested in the country in the recent past. A significant factor which aids the growth of this sector is the ready availability of the raw materials for making cement, such as limestone and coal.

Market Size

Cement production capacity stood at 502 million tonnes per year (mtpy) in 2018. Capacity addition of 20 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) is expected in FY19- FY 21.

The Indian cement industry is dominated by a few companies. The top 20 cement companies account for almost 70 per cent of the total cement production of the country. A total of 210 large cement plants account for a cumulative installed capacity of over 410 million tonnes, with 350 small plants accounting for the rest. Of these 210 large cement plants, 77 are located in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

Investments

According to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), cement and gypsum products attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth US$ 5.28 billion between April 2000 and March 2018.

Some of the major investments in Indian cement industry are as follows:

  • As of December 2018, Raysut Cement Company is planning to invest US$ 700 million in India by 2022.
  • During 2017-18, Ultratech commissioned a greenfield clinker plant with a capacity of 2.5 MTPA and a cement grinding facility with 1.75 MTPA capacity in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. The company is expecting to complete a 1.75 MTPA cement grinding facility and a 13 MW waste heat recovery system by September 2018 at the same location.
  • JK Cement is planning to invest Rs 1,500 crore (US$ 231.7 million) over the next 3 to 4 years to increase its production capacity at its Mangrol plant from 10.5 MTPA to 14 MTPA.

Government Initiatives

In order to help the private sector companies thrive in the industry, the government has been approving their investment schemes. Some such initiatives by the government in the recent past are as follows:

In Budget 2018-19, Government of India announced setting up of an Affordable Housing Fund of Rs 25,000 crore (US$ 3.86 billion) under the National Housing Bank (NHB) which will be utilised for easing credit to homebuyers. The move is expected to boost the demand of cement from the housing segment.

Road Ahead

The eastern states of India are likely to be the newer and virgin markets for cement companies and could contribute to their bottom line in future. In the next 10 years, India could become the main exporter of clinker and gray cement to the Middle East, Africa, and other developing nations of the world. Cement plants near the ports, for instance the plants in Gujarat and Visakhapatnam, will have an added advantage for exports and will logistically be well armed to face stiff competition from cement plants in the interior of the country.Cement-June-2019

Due to the increasing demand in various sectors such as housing, commercial construction and industrial construction, cement industry is expected to reach 550-600 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) by the year 2025.

A large number of foreign players are also expected to enter the cement sector, owing to the profit margins and steady demand.