Ambuja Cements has expanded its capacity to 27.35 million tonne at the end of CY11, a rise of nearly 24.5 per cent from two years ago and is well positioned to meet expanded cement demand over the long term. The Holcim-controlled company is one of the leading players in the sector. It has a wide distribution network and is able to reach out to almost all parts of the country.
Ambuja Cements and the other Holcim-controlled cement company ACC together had a capacity of 56 million tonne at the end of CY11, and are top of the pack. Their nearest rival is Grasim's subsidiary UltraTech with a capacity of nearly 51.75 million tonne at the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal. The cement industry's total capacity is expected to reach 326 million tonne at the end of FY12, say brokerage house reports.
Season of construction is at its peak levels and cement prices have been strong in different parts of the country. However, it is a cause for concern that the cost structure remains at elevated levels. For instance, in the first week of March, the railways introduced new freight rates, which are up nearly 20 per cent for cement companies, say analysts.