JSW, Star & Dalmia Cement pledge Rs 3,000 crore investment in West...

    JSW, Star & Dalmia Cement pledge Rs 3,000 crore investment in West Bengal

    Fresh after receiving $2 billion investment decision in energy sector by Great Eastern Energy Corporation (GEECL) and $1 billion from Essar Oil & Gas, the Mamata Banerjee government has bagged an investment commitment of over Rs 3,000 crore from top three cement makers in the country.
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    The trio — JSW Cement, Star Cement and Dalmia Cement Bharat — will pump in their funds here in the next few years. This was disclosed by state finance and industries minister Amit Mitra at Cementing India, organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on Friday.

    Mitra said that JSW Cement and Dalmia Cement are expanding capacity in the existing locations while Star Cement will set up a greenfield unit in north Bengal. However, the minister urged all the captains of cement industry to set up integrated cement units with clinker facility in Bengal. “All the plants here are grinding plant. We need an integrated plant here. As far as I know, the investment required in such a plant is Rs 2,500 crore,” he added.

    During his address, Dalmia Cement executive director (new building solution) Sujit Ghoshsaid it is also contemplating to set up a unit in north Bengal apart from expansion in its plant near Salboni. “There are a lot of activities in north Bengal now. The region is rocking,” he added.

    Industry sources said JSW Cement is expanding the capacity to 4.8 million tonne per annum from the current level of 2.4 million tonne in the next two years. The total investment for this could be Rs 1,500 crore.

    Star Cement managing director Sanjay Agarwal added that it would put up a two million tonne cement plant in north Bengal and the investment would be of Rs 400 crore. “The unit will be in Jalpaiguri. We have already bought land for that. The production would start before March 2020. We shall bring clinker from Meghalaya for the plant,” he added. Star Cement has the current capacity of 3.5 million tonne and is a leader in northeast. The company is planning to have 10 million tonne capacity eventually.

    The cement capacity in the state is now at 22 million tonne but the demand is growing at 18% annually. “There is a demand of 1.6-1.7 million tonne per month in this state,” he added.

    Elaborating the project, Ghosh of Dalmia Cement added that they is expanding the capacity from 1.7 million tonne to 4 million tonne in the next two years. The total investment for the same could be Rs 1,000 crore.

    Commenting on their north Bengal plan, he added, “We shall bring clinker from northeast where we have acquired three small cement units in last few years.” He indicated that in North Bengal it may set up an one million tonne unit.

    Sanjay Agarwal, the managing director of Star Cement, has urged the state government to pursue with the Centre and Bangladesh to reduce import duty on cement. Currently, it is 95%. “How Bangladesh can levy such a huge import duty on cement when import duty in India is only 5% and most of the fly ash for cement production in Bangladesh is going from India only,” he added. Agarwal also feel that GST on cement should be brought down to 18% from 28%.

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