Cement firms upbeat as A.P. to lift 12 million tonnes more a year

State projects offer hope to makers hit by slowdown

Indian cement manufacturers are in an upbeat mood as the Andhra Pradesh Government has sought more than one million tonnes of cement per month for its projects for the next fiscal.

“The yearly consumption of cement by the Andhra Pradesh Government is about 18 million tonnes per year. If the State assures [it would] lift another 12 million tonnes a year, it would give a big boost to the cement industry, which had been affected due to sluggish demand,” said a top official of a cement company on the condition of anonymity.

Welcoming the initiative, the official said: “Almost all cement manufacturers have had a very bad third quarter due to the economic slowdown and stalling of major infrastructure projects by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments. But, this is a good initiative as everyone will get a fair share,” he said.

At a joint review meeting held by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday at Vijayawada, he had asked the cement majors to supply cement in huge quantities for various government’s affordable housing projects.He also informed them that his State required over one million tonnes per month for various projects, including one for affordable housing and that the cement should be supplied at lower prices.

The meeting was attended by representatives of India Cements, Ramco Cements, KCP, Ultratech and JSW, among others.

They agreed to supply cement ‘at lower prices’.

“We also took part in the meeting. We are committed to supply about 40,000-50,000 tonnes per month and this would provide us some relief,” said another manufacturer.

According to them, the housing department required 40 lakh tonnes, Panchayat Raj Department 25 lakh tonnes, Water Resources Department 16.57 lakh tonnes and Municipal Department 14.93 lakh tonnes.

While releasing the company’s third quarter results, India Cements vice-chairman and managing director N. Srinivasan had said that all infrastructure projects ought to be implemented in order to bail out the industry from the turmoil it has been undergoing.

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