Calderys India Refractories eyeing 25% capacity expansion

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on March 15, 2018

Hakimuddin Ali, Managing Director, Calderys India

The ₹600-crore Calderys India Refractories is looking at a 25 per cent capacity expansion in the East.

The company, which currently has the capacity to produce over 1.6 lakh tonnes of castables, is exploring expansion — both organic and inorganic — to take it up to 2 lakh tonnes over the next few years.

Refractory products, such as castables and bricks, are vital in all high-temperature processes in the making of metals (like steel), cement, glass and ceramics.

According to Hakimuddin Ali, Chairman, Imerys India and Director Strategy - India, Africa and Middle East, the demand for Indian refractory — growing at 5-6 per cent — is likely to pick up soon, as the user industry (such as steel and cement sectors) increasingly looks at sourcing locally.

The steel and cement sectors are still dependent on Chinese imports for their refractory needs. Nearly 20-25 per cent of the demand was met through imports from China till recently. This apart, close to 40 per cent of the raw materials for refractory bricks — such as magnesite, graphite, fused and calcined alumina and high grade clays — were imported from China.

However, with China clamping down on mining and introducing stringent pollution control norms, the supply of finished products as well as raw materials has been impacted.

“We have been growing at around 6 per cent, which is not very high. But moving forward, we expect demand to pick up,” Ali told BusinessLine on the sidelines of an Irefcon conference held in New Delhi recently.

The company has three manufacturing units, one each in Rajkot, Nagpur and Katni (Madhya Pradesh). In addition to this, it has a capacity of around 66,900 tonnes from its franchised operations (third party manufacturing).

Acquisition plan

“We are looking forward to acquisitions and will take a call if we find the right target,” said Ali.

The company will look to invest close to ₹60-70 crore towards its capex programme, he added.

Calderys is part of the ₹1,500-crore Imerys India, which has interests in other verticals including ceramics, and filtration and minerals.

Published on March 14, 2018

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