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French Cement Company Vicat Plans to Invest Rs 1,735 cr

September 06, 2018

French cement maker Vicat Group, which entered India a decade ago, is seeking to raise its capacity by more than 50% in three years, but would not chase volumes to enhance its shelf-space presence in the world’s second-biggest market for the building material. The Indian arm of the 2.5-billion euros Vicat Group has outlined an investment of €223 million (Rs 1,735 crore) over the next four years to strengthen its presence in the south and west. It will also seek to enter the east, chief executive of Vicat India, Anoop Kumar Saxena, said at the inauguration of a 1.2-million tonne bulk cement terminal in Mumbai. The group launched the Vicat brand cement in the country. Vicat would seek to enhance its capacity to 13 million tonnes by 2021, but the company is in no rush to increase sales at the cost of profitability, Saxena said. The terminal will cater to the growing demand of the city. It will receive feed from its 100% subsidiary Kalburgi in the Gulbarga district of Karnataka. This facility was acquired in 2014 after Vicat ran it as a joint venture with Sagar Cements for six years. Even though the company has been pitted against home-grown cement giants such as UltraTech, ACC and Ambuja, it has no plans of decreasing prices to sell more at the cost of profitability. It recorded sales of 2.4 MT out of a capacity of 2.75 from Kalburgi last year prompting it to add another line. “The pricing right now is not good- ...But we have no pressure to sell at a cheap price. We will not sell at a cheap price but we can sell less,” said Saxena. Vicat will be adding a second line of 2.75 million tonnes to its Kalburgi facility as well as a grinding unit of 1.7 million tonne in Vizag, which will also supply to the east. It has also acquired a 51% stake in the 5.5 MT Bharathi Cement. Its current capacity stands at 8.25 MT. Vicat Group was founded by the son of Louis Vicat, who invented artificial cement in 1817. The group has a presence in 11 countries.


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