Mumbai: India’s largest cement producer ACC Ltd wants to buy railway wagons and would like to have an arrangement with the railways to run them.
The proposal comes after a temporary shutdown of three of its plants in Jharkhand and Rajasthan in the quarter ended 31 March due to a shortage of wagons, managing director Sumit Banerjee told reporters after the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.
“We expect these problems to remain at least this month,” Banerjee said. “There is no short-term solution to this problem, but if we can have a PPP (public private partnership) model in wagons, it can also help to increase investments in an area where there have been none for years.”
ACC already owns wagons that transport cement to its Kalamboli terminal in Navi Mumbai from its plant in Wadi in Karnataka.
The firm has two plants in Jharkhand, in Chaibasa and Sindri, each with a capacity to produce around one million tonnes (mt) a year. In Rajasthan, ACC has a 1.5 mt plant in Lakheri, according to its website.
The company has earmarked Rs1,300 crore for capital expenditure in 2010, down from Rs1,600 crore in 2009. ACC follows a January to December accounting year. It expects to add 4.5 mt in capacity this fiscal, to reach 30 mt by December.
ACC’s sales volume grew just 2.6% in 2009, compared with the industry average of 10%.
The firm lost market share in 2009, chairman N.S. Sekhsaria said, without elaborating.