India: JSW plans to expand its cement production capacity to 30Mt/yr from 5Mt/yr by setting up grinding units closer to its steel plants. As part of its diversification, it is also considering the production of aluminium, if the government allocates bauxite mines to it.
Seshagiri Rao, joint managing director of JSW Steel, said that the company's presence in the cement business is small compared with other companies with 60 – 70Mt/yr of production capacity. JSW's plan is to become a significant player in the sector, with 30Mt/yr of production capacity by 2025, he added.
For instance, a grinding unit installed closer to the Dolvi steel plant in Maharashtra State could source clinker from Gujarat State, mix it with slag available from the plant and tap the vibrant western market. "Alternatively, we could also set up grinding units closer to the cement market and take our slag there," said Rao. "We would source clinker from the closest available location so that we remain competitive."
The Tamil Nadu State Government recently notified a scheme whereby cement companies are asked to quote their factory gate price. Contractors were given the price list to source cement for their projects. JSW Cement has also placed its bids under the scheme. "I believe that other State Governments will also emulate the Tamil Nadu Government model to make cement available for their projects at a competitive price without any subsidy," said Rao.