Starting with initial production capacity of 0.3 million tonne per annum (mtpa) in 1999, Anjani Portland Cement Ltd (APCL), a decade later was the recipient of the prestigious ‘Fastest Growing Cement Company’ award in 2009 by ASAPP Media, the publisher of Indian Cement Review. Read on, to find out more as A Mohankumar details the exemplary growth of the company.From a small beginning, today the company has a total cement production capacity of 1.2 mt. With the commissioning of the cement plant in Karnataka, the total cement production capacity will go up to 2.2 mtpa. True to their vision "To evolve as a market leader in south India and stand for customer delight with consistent quality and service standards", today APCL with its exemplary growth in production and services, is numero uno in Andhra Pradesh and competes with the national players in the industry. Anjani has now extended its reach to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa and Karnataka and has made forays into the markets of Maharashtra.GenesisAn ailing Shez Cement Pvt Ltd was taken over in 1999 and after the initial hitches and a lot of hard work, APCL tread the growth path and never looked back.The company’s helm of affairs was looked after and nurtured by Padma Bhushan Dr BV Raju, a doyen among the cement luminaries. This former Chairman of Cement Corporation of India (CCI), was instrumental in the growth of cement industry in India, especially Andhra Pradesh. Trained and sculpted by Dr BV Raju, the architects of APCL have built its organisational structure on a very strong pedestal of infrastructure, technology, human resource and strong social commitment.Due to the acumenship of the founding father, APCL was fortunate to establish two plants in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh, where the best limestone mines are found in abundance.The growth trajectoryIn 2001-02, secondary crusher were installed; high efficiency cyclones, burners and screw compressors in place of unit compressors were introduced in 2003-04. The company carried out calciner modifications to improve production in 2004-05. APCL installed an additional cement mill to increase the cement grinding capacity in 2005-06. The year 2006-07 saw the company acquire a grinding unit from Pachava Cements Ltd and disburse maiden dividends to the shareholders. In the same year the company also installed high efficiency fans. In 2010 the second plant began production and achieved rated capacity in July 2010.SubsidiaryHitech Print Systems Ltd (HPSL) became the subsidiary of APCL from 2007 and currently employs 200 people. HPSL is a security printing unit certified by IBA and ISO 9001-2008.HPCL has its presence and reach across the country through its marketing offices at Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.Energy constitute more than 60 per cent of the company’s exchequer and to reduce dependence, in 2000-01, APCL acquired Vennar Ceramics Ltd (VCL), a gas-based power generating company to cater to 60 per cent of power requirement.The company has the distinction of being the first gas-based power generating plant in India with a capacity of 2.7 MW. VCL reduces carbon foot print by generating clean power, and does not pollute the environment. The company has also entered into power purchase agreement with AP Transco for selling power.Distribution networkAn excellent dealer network system ensures successful spread and sales of the cement within and outside the state. Each product variant is stored in an individual bulk storage silo ready to be dispatched. Cement is packed in bags using roto packers and is distributed by roadways or railways as per requirement. Request by dealers also see cement being dispatched in bulk tankers. Cements are also packed in eco-friendly paper bags and are dispatched by APCL through road ways or railways.In quest for excellenceThe first plant was built with technical collaboration from Nihon of Japan and replicated with a five stage pre-heater and pre-calciner for consistent and superior quality of cement. A purposeful step towards greener technology for cement production has been the installation of reverse air bag house (RABH) technology for reduced pollution and dust free environment at the cement plant.The five stage preheater of the second plant have LP cyclones and Onoda Japan technology. Online gas analysers are installed at pyroprocessing. Closed storage facilities are provided for lime stone, coal and clinker to improve ambient air quality and conform to environmental precincts. RABH is installed to handle kiln and raw mill dust laden gases and to maintain low SPM levels in comparison to world standards. ESP is installed to cool exit gases.Anjani plant has a completely hands free and fully automated production process installed using Siemens PCS7-CEMAT Distribution Control System with 24×7 monitoring, sampling and analysis of cement production, through various stages, from mining to packing.A team of highly qualified professionals work 24×7 to conduct quality tests and analyse raw materials, intermediaries and finished products, to ensure that products are of the highest quality.The laboratory is equipped with X-ray analysers for continuous monitoring of mineral composition of raw materials and final products. Samples are also sent to independent quality analysts for inspection to enhance and to standardise quality norms.Cementing IndiaThe company’s kitty of cements include OPC 53 grade, OPC 43 grade and Portland pozzolana cement for domestic consumption. OPC 53 grade has higher strength and better particle size distribution, higher ductility and better dynamics of structures. Its higher fineness increases rate of gain of strength of cement requiring lesser consumption and improves workability. OPC 53 grade also gives higher characteristic strength to concrete and better bond strength, hence lesser lap length saves on use of steel. The applications of the cement is in plain and reinforced cement concrete, masonry and plastering, for bridge piers, pre-stressed girders and electric poles, concrete pipes, skyscrapers, RCC bridges, cement concrete roads, etc.The finely ground OPC 43 grade has moderate sulphate resisting properties and is low in chloride. It exhibits better ductility and better dynamic behaviour of structures, and better soundness and low chloride content ensures improved performance of concrete. The application areas of OPC 43 are in commercial building, industrial construction, multi-storied complexes, cement concrete roads, heavy-duty floors, etc. Portland pozzolana cement manufactured by the company is good for massive construction since the heat of hydration is 30 per cent less than OPC. It does not have an adverse impact on corrosion of reinforcement steel and offers good resistance to chlorides and sulphates. It gives smoother finishing to structures and has low porosity, permissibility, high workability, and slow retention due to improved water retention properties. The PPC can be used to build dams, spillways, retaining walls, underground structures, bridges, hydro-power stations, columns, beams, slabs and structural works. Connecting with the massesAnjani Studio is an initiative by APCL to educate the masses about various types of cements, its applications, technological developments and its production capacities. Through Anjani Studio, all those who are associated with cement get up-to-date knowledge about the production processes, quality components, the nuances of cement use, strength and concrete mix ratios, so as to achieve optimum results from cement use.As part of APCL continuous effort for perfection in production and highest quality standards, Anjani Powder Research Centre came into existence. This centre is equipped with the latest testing facilities to conduct recurrent and methodical physical and chemical analysis of quality of Anjani cement and other cement brands. This unit aims at constant innovation and quality enhancement of brand Anjani.As part of the ‘Ask Anjani’ programme, the service department of APCL has set up a mobile lab for concrete solutions which has inbuilt cement and concrete testing equipment and concrete at different stages of its use-pre or post construction. This mobile lab is available on call at any construction site within its gambit of operations.The mobile lab is equipped with a compressive strength testing machine, vicat apparatus, non-destructive testing machine and slump cone apparatus. These machines are utilised to test the quality, water requirement, setting time and strength of cement and concrete at construction sites. As part of ASCL’s objective to achieve knowledge based society BV Raju Institute of Cement Technology (BVRICT) was set up. BVRICT trains wards in theoretical and practical aspects and focuses on segmented job oriented training in cement technology. This institute also conducts refreshing courses on specific topics related to cement technology and conducts in-house training programmes, seminars and workshops.Awards and recognitionIn its decade of existence, APCL was recipient of several awards. In 2009, APCL was the recipient of the "Fastest Growing Cement Company" award. The company was also awarded Certificate of Acheivement for ‘Demonstrating Exceptional innovation and Perseverance’ in attaining the 225th position amongst India’s 500 best-performing mid-sized enterprises by Inc India. In 2010 APCL received the supply chain leader award in the cement segment.APCL is making persistent efforts to restore and maintain the eco-balance and greenery in the environment. The RABH technology employed by the company ensures that the air pollution is minimised. For their efforts in protecting the environment, APCL has been receiving the environmental award regularly from AP Pollution Control Board for maintaining a green and eco-friendly atmosphere at the plant and surrounding areas.The company’s CSR activities are concentrated more in Nalgonda district, the cement capital of Andhra Pradesh. The company has donated Rs 1 crore worth of cement towards construction of houses for the poor under Indiramma Housing Scheme. The company has spent more than Rs 10 crore for the development of villages in the neighborhood of APCL’s plants at Nalgonda District. The company has also constructed Smt Sita Memorial School near the factory for the children of employees and neighbouring villages.Promising futureThough the year 2010 did not bring much cheers for the cement industry, due to extended monsoon in many parts of the country the future looks promising for APCL in the coming years. With an upbeat Indian economy, coupled with strong domestic demand for construction activities, APCL is well placed to leverage on the growing opportunities. APCL will be launching building products to cater to the growing market, and will be coming up with a new ceramic tiles plant at Kaikalur, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh. By 2012, APCL’s total cement production capacities will go up to 2.2 mtpa, and the company will be the company will expand its services to the to the rest of country. The company is charting a growth path to achieve greater heights in the future.What are your expectations of budget 2011-2012 – KV Vishnu Raju, CMD, Anjani Portland CementEncouragement for infrastructure sector is to be initiated. For cement Industries, the taxes, i e, excise & VAT are to be reduced to pass on the benefit to end customers.Are there any new products, plants or a capacity expansion in the offing?The company will be launching building products like panels, aerated concrete bricks, concrete blocks, Anjani mix and wall care putty/skim coat, etc. Also, there are plans for ceramic tiles plant. The proposed plant at Kaikalur, Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, on 30 acres of land with close proximity to raw material availability, has more than one lakh built up area with a 3 MW gas-based power plant with a plant capacity of 7,000 sq m per day at an investment of Rs 40 crore.To reach the wide market of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, we propose to set up 1 mtpa cement plant in the Bijapur district, Karnataka, with mining area of 500 acre, plant area 100 acre and a 16 MW power plant. The proposed investment for this plant is Rs 400 crore.What are your future plans for the company?To consolidate the existing operations by having new markets and brand management and become 3 mtpa cement company by 2014.
Adani Group to invest Rs 55,000 cr in Gujarat projects, including cement plant
Billionaire Gautam Adani announced over Rs 55,000 crore investment in next five years in a clutch of projects in Gujarat including the world’s largest solar park, a copper plant, a cement unit, and a lithium battery manufacturing complex, envisaging direct employment to 50,000 people.
Adani Group, which operates Mundra port in the state, announced plans to foray into petrochemical business with a Rs 16,000 crore project with German chemical major BASF.
Speaking at the 9th Vibrant Gujarat Summit here, Adani said his group’s investments in Gujarat in the past five years exceed Rs 50,000 crores and “we are further accelerating our investments.”
“Over the next 5 years, our investments will include the world’s largest solar hybrid park in Khavda. The anticipated investment in this park is Rs 30,000 crore. We also plan to establish a 1 GW Data Center Park in Mundra, a one million ton copper smelting and refining project, a cement and clinker manufacturing unit in Lakhpat, an integrated Lithium battery manufacturing complex and expand our Photovoltaic manufacturing capabilities. Overall, we anticipate a total of Rs 55,000 crore of investment in all these projects,” he said.
Image Source: Google
Bangladesh’s Chhatak Cement announces modernisation project
Bangladesh’s Chhatak Cement Co Ltd has announced plans to modernise its facility and convert it from wet process to dry process. The company has begun to prepare a development project proposal, with a schedule to implement the upgrades by 2021.
According to company officials, Chhatak Cement has incurred an accumulated loss of over BDT3.63bn (US$43.25m) between FY13-14 and FY17-18, mainly due to its outdated machinery resulting in loss of production capacity. The plant is currently operating at 70,000 tonnes per annum (tpa).
However, the new project is anticipated to boost production capacity and increase annual company profit to around BDT1bn. The modernisation is expected to be financed by a BDT8.9bn investment from the government, with BDT5.34bn as a loan with a payback period of seven years and the rest as equity, according to The Financial Express.
Image Source: Google
Forced shutdown of Viet-Dung Quat cement plant in Vietnam
The Dai Viet-Dung Quat cement plant has been forced to temporarily shut down in the central province of Quang Ngai due to environmental pollution. Since 26 May, the locals had gathered in front of the plant to call for a shutdown.
Director of Central Region Cement JSC Trinh Van Dien, investor in the Dai Viet-Dung Quat cement plant, said, “We invited an environmental monitoring team to check the dust concentration and the results are safe. The local Department of Natural Resources and Environment hasn?t reached a conclusion on the noise level yet.”
He added, “We?ve had to temporarily close the plant, meaning we”re losing VND300m (US$13,437) and the 100 workers are kicking their heels at home. I don”t know what to do.”
The ground clearance work should have been done this year but the coal-powered plant project was delayed until 2020. As a result, the ground clearance work has also been delayed.
According to the locals, they want to be compensated for the relocation if the plant stays. “We don?t want to stay. We have to move,” local Nguyen Ne said.
Image Source: Google