By 2024, the residents of Taj Nagri would also be able to travel by metro
The Agra Metro Rail project construction work under the Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) started to pick up the pace. Upon the completion of the elevated stations of the metro, the authorities have started working on the underground stations.The central and state governments are working on the plans for the expansion of the metro rail service. The work on underground stations was inaugurated on Monday by the MD of Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation, Kumar Keshav. The first havan (ritual) was performed at the underground station to be approximately 6 km from Taj East Gate and Jama Masjid.Besides, under construction metro tracks and metro stations on Fatehabad Road in Agra are beginning to take shape.Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC), MD, Kumar Keshav said that seven underground stations shall be built.Kumar Keshav said that building an underground station is a tedious task. After the completion of this project, the construction work of the underground station at Jama Masjid will commence. All the stations would be connected to the elevated station.MD Kumar Keshav said that the pace of the metro work is very admirable and that the project is expected to be completed within the stipulated time.Over half of the metro work is completed on Fatehabad Road. Currently, underground stations are being set up. In the next two years, all the stations would be ready for operations. By 2024, the residents of Taj Nagri would also be able to travel by metro.
South sees cement price rise
Prices have risen by Rs 13 per bag.
Cement prices across most regions in India headed lower in August as the monsoon continued to pick up pace. However, south India was an exception. The latest dealers’ channel check by Kotak Institutional Equities showed cement prices in south India have risen by ₹13 per bag in August from July and are now at ₹404. One cement bag weighs 50 kg.
Most dealers based in the South continue to report poor sales on a month-on-month basis in August compared to July because of lack of credit flow, high cement prices, a heavy monsoon and a slowdown in government infrastructure projects.
Fuel for Thought
As the world moves towards novel exchange denominators like cryptocurrency, the cement industry is busy battling one of the oldest currencies in the world – fuel.
With the war between Russia and Ukraine continuing to rage, fuel prices have hit the roof, as can be seen from the rising cost of pet coke, diesel, freight and energy, which are important factors for cement manufacturing and mobilisation. The most likely scenario would have been a resulting increase in cement price, however the price correction did not follow through and the cement sector witnessed flat rates in May and a dip in prices in June across India. This has adversely affected the profitability of cement. Amid elevated costs of raw materials and decrease in demand, Emkay Global Financial Services has cut its earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) estimates for the sector by 5-6 per cent for FY 23/24/25.
Apart from this, currently sustainability is also detrimental to cost efficiency for cement companies. Green energy initiatives, such as alternative fuel and raw materials (AFR) and waste heat recovery system (WHRS), are adding to the production costs. These costs are not getting translated into price hike, leaving the cement makers to bear the brunt. However, sustainable production and net zero targets are not to be toyed with, and each player has to put in their best effort. With regards to input costs, experts are hopeful of price corrections through rise in demand for cement in the months to come.
All eyes are right now on Russia, thanks to the compelling need to sourcing fuel from low-cost destinations. Giants from the steel and power industries are already dealing with Russia for its pulverised coal. India has also shown an interest in increasing its import of thermal and coking coal from Russia, and is estimated to import 40 million tonnes tonnes by 2035.
Corrections in pricing and innovations in raw materials and alternative energy might be at different ends of the spectrum but they are bound to have a long lasting impact on cement companies, as each player puts in their best effort to win this fuel fight.
KEC International bags orders worth Rs. 12.33 billion
Secures an order to build India’s first 765 kV Digital Substation
KEC International, an RPG Group Company, has secured new orders of Rs. 12.33 billion across its various businesses:
The business has secured orders for T&D projects in India, Middle East and Americas: 765 kV Digital GIS Substation order in India, from Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), supply of towers in Middle East, secured by subsidiary in UAE, supply of towers, hardware and poles in Americas, secured by the company’s subsidiary, SAE Towers.
The business has secured orders for infra works in the paints and metals & mining segments; laying of cross-country pipeline and associated works and various types of cables in India and overseas.
Mr. Vimal Kejriwal, MD & CEO, KEC International commented, “We are pleased with the new order wins, especially the prestigious order from PGCIL, to build India’s first 765 kV Digital substation. Our Civil business continues to strengthen and diversify its presence in the industrial segment with the addition of a very reputed client. We are also encouraged by the order in the Oil and Gas Pipelines, which further enhances the business’ order book.”