Dalmia Cement to serve Maharashtra from Karnataka plant

Chennai, Oct 18 : Cement maker Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd will be targeting mainly the growing 24 million ton per annum (mtpa) Maharashtra market from its new plant in Karnataka, said a top company official.

"The 2.5 mtpa plant in Belgaum is expected to start production by March 2014. We will be mainly selling the cement made at this plant in Maharashtra where the market potential is huge," CEO Vipin Agarwal told reporters here Friday.

He said the company is investing around Rs.1,300 crore in the Belgaum plant of which around Rs.800 crore will be debt and the balance from internal accruals.

With the commissioning of the new plant, the company's total capacity will increase to 11.5 mtpa from the current 9 mtpa.

Queried the economic downturn and the excess capacity in the industry, Agarwal said no company puts up excess capacity deliberately.

"Investments are made based on projections. But it is the timing. Nobody can predict the start and the end of the economic cycle," he said.

The company makes nearly 15 percent of its retail sales in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

According to him, Dalmia Cement gets nearly 35 percent of its sales revenue from institutional sales like selling to other cement makers who are in the field of ready-mix concrete.

The company also exports small quantities of cement to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Asked about the sales increase after signing up actor Prakash Raj as the brand ambassador, Agarwal said the sales trend - pre and post Prakash Raj- has to be studied.

--IANS (Posted on 18-10-2013)

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