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Construction : Feature | December 2018 | Source : CW-India

Sustainable infrastructure, Housing for All to drive demand for cement and concrete

Leading cement and concrete players are on track to end this year on a positive note. Whereas demand for cement grew 6 per cent in FY2018, it grew 14 per cent between April and September 2018.

ACC has recorded 8 per cent growth in cement sale volumes this year, on the back of higher demand, and 17 per cent growth in ready-mix concrete sales volumes, due to the addition of eight new plants across the country and an increase in the sale of value-added products (ACC Flowcrete self-compacting concrete, ACC Ecocrete for green construction, ACC Supercrete high strength and high performance concrete, ACC Jet-setcrete high early strength concrete and ACC Suraksha for durable slabs).

"The economic upswing in 2018, supported by buoyant consumption, a normal monsoon and uptick in rural demand, appear to be factors behind the improved demand," says B Sridhar, Chief Commercial Officer, ACC.

"2018 has been a good year for us," says Anil Banchhor, Managing Director & CEO, RDC Concrete (India). "We saw 58 per cent growth, mainly on the back of demand for cement for affordable housing projects, infra projects in metros and highway construction."

Affirming the "upward trend in the demand for cement," Ashwani Pahuja, Chief Sustainability Officer, Dalmia Cement (Bharat), attributes this to "increasing demand for ready-mix concrete in urban areas, pre-mix dry concrete and mortar mixes, precast solutions for mass housing, fly-ash bricks and new-age ternary blend composite cement (composite cement) from the housing, commercial and industrial segments."

The ongoing momentum is expected to sustain albeit some areas will perform better than others.

"We expect cement demand to continue to be positive, driven by the government's 'Housing for All' programme, sustained infrastructure spends and rural housing," says Sridhar.

"States in the East and the North-East would be the go-to places for cement companies to explore," says Pahuja. "We have a keen focus in these areas with operational plants in Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar."


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