India: The National Green Tribunal has received a complaint from the Jaintia Students Union (JSU) challenging the Meghalaya Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes approval of Star Cements Brishyrnot quarry expansion plans. The Sentinel newspaper has reported that the student organisation demanded the cancellation or suspension of environmental clearance for the expansion pending proper processes. It claims that the ministry failed to meet the necessary requirements for a public hearing. It allegedly did not receive no-objection confirmation from all affected local groups.
India: Star Cement has incorporated new subsidiaries in Assam and Meghalaya. It has set up Star Cement North East in Guwahati, Assam and Star Cement Lumshnong in Lumshnong, Meghalaya. Both business units are yet to start conducting operations. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has approved both incorporations.
India: Star Cement plans to increase the cement production capacity of its Guwahiti integrated cement plant in Assam by 2Mt/yr. It also plans to increase its clinker production capacity in Meghalaya by 2Mt/yr. The Free Press Journal newspaper has reported the total cost of the planned investment is US$137m. Managing director Sajjan Bhajanka said that the company would complete the work by mid-2023.
India: Star Cement has announced the completion of its US$61m grinding plant project in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. The Press Trust of India has reported that the 2Mt/yr grinding plant is set to enter production shortly. This will bring the companys installed capacity to 6.3Mt/yr. The company intends to source clinker from its integrated cement plant in Meghalaya that has mines nearby. Fly ash will be procured from West Bengal or Bihar.
India: Meghalaya Cement, Star Cement and Amrit Cement have been accused of illegally mining 1.8Mt of limestone in Meghalaya between 2013 and 2018. The Northeast Now newspaper has reported that the companies mined the limestone in a tribal area of the state without environmental, forest or wildlife clearance or No Objection Certificates (NOCs). Local cement producers also allegedly owe the state government around US$40m in related limestone mining licence fees. All three cement producers reportedly made donations to a local political party.
The state government is also investigating allegations that two of the cement producers have polluted two local rivers, Wah Lukha and Wah Lunar. The former river allegedly turned deep blue due to pollution.
India: The Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has claimed responsibility for an improvised explosive device (IED) blast which injured one person and damaged a wall and water pipes at Star Cements cement plant in the East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya. The Press Trust of India has reported that the attack resulted from the producers failure to pay protection money as a non-locally-owned business.
Bangladesh: Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) and Saudi Arabian-based Engineering Dimension International Investment (EDII) have formed a joint-venture called Saudi Bangla Integrated Cement in order to build a new integrated cement plant. The proposed unit will have a clinker production capacity of 12,000t/day, according to the Dhaka Tribune newspaper. It will be supplied with limestone from Meghalaya in India via a long conveyor belt. If realised the project is expected to create up to 700 direct and indirect jobs. Government-owned BCIC previously signed a partnership agreement with EDII in late 2018.
India: Dalmia Cement (Bharat) has started producing oil well cement at its Khelrihat plant in Meghalaya. The subsidiary of Dalmia Bharat says that it is cement manufacturer to obtain a license for manufacturing oil well cement in the north east region of the country from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), according to the Economic Times newspaper. This new unit it intended to serve markets in Assam, Tripura and Mizoram, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Dalmia Bharat has been producing oil well cement at its Dalmiapuram plant in Tamil Nadu since the mid-1980s.
India: The employees union of state-owned Meghalaya Cherra Cement has given the government two weeks to pay back salary from 2015 to 2016 and overtime payments since 2013. Union president S Diengdoh criticised the state-owned plant for poor management and low production, according to the Sentinel newspaper. The union alleges that the plant has an utilisation rate of only 30% and poor levels of safety.
India: LafargeHolcim has received environment clearance to raise the production capacity of its Nongtrai limestone mine in Meghalaya to 5Mt/yr from 2Mt/yr for US$28m. The mine is operated by Lafarge Umiam Mining, a subsidiary of Lafarge Surma Cement, according to the Press Trust of India. Limestone from the mine is transported across the border to Lafarge Surma Cements plant in Bangladesh. The increased limestone is expected to increase the production capacity at the plant to 5.5Mt/yr from 2.2Mt/yr.
The mine expansion project is subject to final outcomes of cases pending before Supreme Court, High Court and National Green Tribunal. LafargeHolcims subsidiaries have also been asked to obtain clearance from the National Board of Wildlife and the State Pollution Control Board.
India: The Supreme Court has ruled that depository and clearing agent IL&FS Securities Services (ISSL) release US$52.4m to Dalmia Cement owner Dalmia Bharat. The money was alleged stolen by Allied Financial Services in 2019, according to the Economic Times newspaper. The trial concerning the alleged theft of mutual fund units continues.
India: UltraTech Cement has selected Germany-based Aumund to supply conveyors, elevators and feeders for its Project Spring expansion project to increase its installed production capacity to 130Mt/yr of cement from 117Mt/yr.
The expansion project includes three integrated cement production units in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, each with capacities of up to 10,000t/day. For these kiln lines, Aumund India will supply clinker cooler extraction conveyors as well as the transfer conveyors to the clinker silos. Six cement grinding plants in various locations in India are also part of the capacity expansion plans.
Aumund will supply six pan conveyors, 11 Samson material feeders and 68 bucket elevators including up to 157m-high kiln feed bucket elevators, up to 2200t/hr roller press recirculation bucket elevators and clinker and cement handling bucket elevators, among other products. The order is one of the largest to date for Aumund India.
India: Larsen & Toubro has secured and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a new integrated cement plant at Pali, Rajasthan. It says that a major national cement producer awarded the contract.
India: Ramco Cements says that its 16Mt/yr installed production capacity will increase to 20Mt/yr during its 2022 financial year that starts in April 2021 with the completion of a new plant at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and a third production line at its Jayanthipuram plant. The original plan to complete the work by the end of March 2021 was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Hindu newspaper. The new integrated plant at Kurnool will have a clinker capacity of 2.25Mt/yr and a cement production capacity of 1Mt/yr. The third production line at the Jayanthipuram plant will have a production capacity of 1.5Mt/yr, increasing the plants total to 4.5Mt/yr.
The producer also plans to complete Phase 3 of the installation of a waste heat recover (WHR) unit at the Jayanthipuram plant. Phase 1 (9MW) was commissioned in September 2020, Phase 2 (9MW) in February 2021 and Phase 3 (9MW) is scheduled for after the third line is complete. So far the first two stages have reduced the cement plants power consumption from a thermal power plant by 15MW. The project has cost around US$30m.
India: Shree Cement has commenced commercial production at its 3.0Mt/yr Cuttack grinding plant in Athagarh Tehsil, Odisha. The Economic Times newspaper has reported that the company officially launched the new plant on 15 March 2021.
India: The Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) has validated UltraTech Cements CO2 emissions reduction targets. The validation confirms that the companys targets are in line with a 2C temperature rise scenario under the Paris Agreement. The targets consist of a 27% reduction in Scope 1 CO2 emissions between 2017 and 2032 and a 69% reduction in Scope 2 CO2 emissions between 2017 and 2032. This corresponds to a 462kg/t net CO2 reduction for the producers cement.
Managing director Kailash Jhanwar said, A changing climate scenario poses significant challenges for the built environment sector. It equally provides valuable opportunities to develop sustainable products and services. By committing to science-based targets, UltraTech Cement has once again demonstrated leadership in paving the way for the sector to help build sustainable infrastructure.
India: JSW Cement has signed a contract with JSW Energy to acquire the latters 18MW Salboni thermal power plant for US$13.1m. The Press Trust of India newspaper has reported that the companies are conducting the transaction on a slump sale basis. The cement producer plans to optimise labour costs in light of low power demand on the unit. Both companies are subsidiaries of JSW Group.
India: ISGEC Heavy Engineering has won a contract for a double waste heat recovery (WHR) unit installation at Shree Cements Raipur cement plant. The Business Standard newspaper has reported that the supplier will install one unit on the plants pre-heater exhaust, and the other on the 10,500t/day kilns cooler exhaust.
Industrial and green energy boilers business head Vinod Luthra said, This is indeed a very prestigious order for us and we thank Shree Cement for once again showing confidence in ISGEC's capabilities. This is the second project that ISGEC will be successfully setting up for Shree Cement."
India: Birla Corporation has appointed Arvind Pathak as its managing director and chief executive director (CEO). He will succeed Pracheta Majumdar from 31 March 2021. Pathak holds 36 years of experience in the cement industry. He has held CEO or equivalent positions for over 14 years in various large organisations which include ACC, Dangote Cement, Adani and Reliance Group. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi and a postgraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and Management. He has also been trained in a number of international management institutions.
Switzerland: LafargeHolcims consolidated net sales in 2020 were Euro21.1bn, down by 5.6% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis from Euro24.4bn in 2019. The group recorded recurring earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) of Euro3.35bn, down by 2% from Euro3.74bn. Its cement sales fell to 190Mt, down by 7% from 208Mt. It noted an increase in bagged cement sales in emerging markets.
By region the group reported like-for-like growth in sales and earnings in Asia-Pacific driven by recovery in India and China despite weaknesses in the Philippines and Australia. Earnings rose despite falling sales in Europe, Latin America and North America with a resilient market noted in Central Europe and an outstanding year reported in Latin America. Middle East Africa reported falling cement demand and adverse market affects from the coronavirus pandemic, although Nigeria remained buoyant.
Chief executive officer Jan Jenisch said, 2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone, challenging us to be more resilient, while stepping up to take care of those around us. He added, This crisis has really proven the resilience of our strategy and business model. By the fourth quarter of 2020 we were back to growth, with a 1.5% increase in net sales and over-proportional recurring EBIT of 14%. The group completed eight bolt-on acquisitions in 2020 and signed an agreement to acquire Firestone Building Products, a producer of flat-roofing systems in the US. It also claimed that, Every tonne of cement we produced in 2020 was more carbon-efficient and contained more recycled material than the year before.