BK Shrikhande President - Operations, Eurotas Infrastructure Ltd
For the 4.95 mtpa cement grinding unit at Nashik, Eurotas Infrastructure Limited, a group company of RattanIndia Group, will source fly ash and power for the grinding unit from RattanIndia´s Nashik power plant. Eurotas is executing the first phase of the project, with a cement grinding unit of 1.65 mtpa capacity. This grinding unit will employ the latest roll press technology, which is highly energy efficient and has a degree of reliability.
Apart from manufacturing all types of cement, the plant will have a modern, state-of-the-art fly ash separation unit, capable of producing fly ash of various grades. BK Shrikhande, President - Operations, Eurotas Infrastructure Ltd, talks to ICR team about the company´s structure, its product basket and its future plans.
Please brief us about your organisation, its relationship with parent company and the synergy it has.
RattanIndia group, formerly known as Indiabulls Power, is a business conglomerate with business interests in power generation, cement and mining. It is promoted by Rajiv Rattan, a first generation entrepreneur. RattanIndia Power Limited is developing 5,400 MW of coal-based thermal power projects at Amravati and Nashik in Maharashtra in phases. Currently it has operational capacity of 1,620 MW, which is expected to reach 2,700 MW in first phase by end of 2016.
As a forward integration and for the eco-friendly and effective utilisation of fly ash generated in the power plants, Eurotas Infrastructure Limited—a group company of RattanIndia Group—is setting up a 4.95 mtpa cement grinding unit at Nashik adjacent to the power plant. Eurotas will source fly ash and power for the grinding unit from RattanIndia´s Nashik power plant.
Tell us something about your company structure.
RattanIndia group´s cement business is headed by Bhalchandra Shrikhande, who has earlier worked with ACC Limited for 31 years in various capacities. There is a team of experienced professionals in the field of engineering, project planning and execution, procurement, contracts & commercial, finance, business development, etc., which manages the activities of cement business and project work under the overall guidance of Shrikhande.
Give us brief idea about your project at Nashik. Which markets it is going to serve? Eurotas is executing the first phase of the project, with a cement grinding unit of 1.65 mtpa capacity. This grinding unit will employ the latest roll press technology, which is highly energy efficient and has a degree of reliability. All equipment have been sourced from reputed and renowned suppliers.
We have a long term clinker supply agreement with one of the leading cement manufacturers. The fly ash for the grinding unit is delivered by pneumatic transport through pipeline. The power to operate the unit is received by a dedicated 220 kV cable from the power plant.
The grinding unit is strategically located, and is in proximity to high growth consumption centres in Maharashtra. It is about 50 km from Nashik, and 250 km from Mumbai and Pune. Because of its locational advantage, Eurotas can effectively serve Mumbai-Thane-Pune-Nashik region. The western Maharashtra markets are also well within reach. Because of the proximity to the markets, direct delivery of cement in bags/bulk by road to end consumers is envisaged.
What is your product basket?
Eurotas will manufacture mainly Portland Pozzolona Cement. However, based on market requirements, the plant can also manufacture other types of cement. Also, the plant will have a modern, state-of-the-art fly ash separation unit, capable of producing fly ash of various grades. The processed fly ash will be marketed separately for application in high grade, high performance concrete required in modern construction.
What are your future plans?
Eurotas is in discussions with lead¡ing cement manufacturers for setting up cement grinding unit at Amravati. Amravati offers similar advantages like Nashik, i.e., easy availability of land, power and fly ash delivered in the grinding unit, and good road connectivity to cement markets.
Also Eurotas has executed a MoU with Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) for setting-up a cement clinkerisation unit in the Kutch district.
The cement industry globally is witnessing a spree of acquisitions and mergers. How do you see smaller cement players surviving in the market?
We recently saw the two cement giants, Lafarge and Holcim, merging together to form the largest cement conglomerate in the world. The drive for consolidation in the cement industry is propelled by two main considerations. One, cost to market, and two, geographical spread for higher market share. The cost structure in cement business is impacted by two main factors. The cost of manufacturing cement (which is mainly the cost of energy) and logistics cost are these two main factors. The mergers & acquisitions lead to a higher controlling market share for the main player. This in turn ensures price stability, and indirectly benefits smaller players as well. Nearness to growing markets for less logistics cost, and less overheads is the key for the small players to survive in this highly competitive industry. Having a split location plant, wherein the clinkerisation unit is near to mines and grinding unit is near to growing markets is a current trend to optimise the transportation cost. If you have a source of cementitious material for the volume addition near the consumption centers, where the grinding unit is located, then you have a profitable business venture.