Indian cement industry, in the last couple of months, has found a helping hand in private equity (PE) firms for funding their business plans. The industry has witnessed a high demand for private equity funding companies, which are on an expansion spree. In one of the largest PE deals this year, Baring Private Equity Asia has invested about $260 million (Rs 1,440 crore) in Lafarge India for a 14 per cent stake in the cement firm.
The funding from Baring Asia will be used to double Lafarge India’s capacity at its Chhattisgarh plant. Another company that is in discussion for fund-raising is Heidelberg Cement India, a subsidiary of German multinational Heidelberg Cement.
According to reports, Bain Capital is conducting a due diligence to pick about 10 per cent in Heidelberg Cement India. Ravi Shankar, Managing Director, UBS India, said that typically, MNCs (multinational corporations) like to fund the growth capital of subsidiaries themselves, thus avoiding reporting to and involvement of external parties.
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.
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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.
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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.
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