India Cements proposes a capex of about ₹700 crore over the next two years, with about ₹500 crore dedicated to enhancing operational efficiency in its manufacturing operations. The remaining budget will be for normal capex of ₹100 crore per annum.

The company is undertaking multiple initiatives as part of the capex programme. It is establishing a new 8 MW Waste Heat Recovery System (WHRS) at its Chilamkuru plant in Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh (WHRS captures waste heat losses during the production process and the captured waste heat losses could be utilised for the generation of power and other productive uses).

“While WHRS will help reduce the power cost, the tweaking that is being done at the plant will increase the output too,” N Srinivasan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the company, said, during the company’s Q4FY24 earnings call.

Other initiatives include cooler upgrades in some of the factories and a crusher in the Sankarnagar unit at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Also, the Dalavoi unit at Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu and the Banswara facility in Rajasthan will have new coolers and burners.

New installations

The company is also installing a vertical roller mill (VRM) in its Sankari factory. The installation of VRM will lower fly ash costs and allow the use of cheaper wet fly ash. The factory carries the potential to become a million-tonne plant soon.

The ₹500 crore odd modernsiation-cum-expansion programme, which may be completed in a couple of years, is expected to provide savings to the tune of ₹150-175 per tonne.

Meanwhile, the company has already achieved savings to the tune of ₹184 per tonne in three factories after the implementation of the suggestions made by global consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, which the company roped in last year to recommend measures to improve efficiency in their operations.

The management indicated that it would continue to explore asset monetisation for its fund requirements.

Last month, the company’s board approved the sale of its Parli grinding unit (with an installed capacity of 1.1 mtpa) in Maharashtra to UltraTech Cement for about ₹315 crore. The profit on the sale of this will be recognised in the current quarter.

“We are looking at selling some land with parcels. But there are no fixed ideas. It will happen when we get the right price and the right buyer,” added the management.