Ambuja Cements says Rs3,500 cr expansion plan on track

Ambuja Cements says Rs3,500 cr expansion plan on track


New Delhi: Leading cement manufacturer Ambuja Cements today said its 3,500-crore expansion programme for capacity enhancement by next year is on track despite the current slowdown in demand and economic downturn.

“We will add six million tonnes of capacity by 2009. Our expansion programmes are on track," Ambuja Cements Managing Director A L Kapur told reporters on the sidelines of the Holcim Sustainability Award function here.

The company would expand capacities of its two plants in Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh by three million tonnes each, he added.

Kapur said the company’s current production capacity is about 19 million tonnes and it is utilising about 85 per cent of the total capacity.

When asked about current demand considering the slowdown in the infrastructure sector, Kapur said, “We are not very much affected in a large manner but prices are under pressure, demands are under pressure."

He said the effect has been seen on the builders and soon it could affect the company if the demand further goes down.

“Hope the government will come out with some stimulus packages to tide over the difficult times," Kapur said.

On the possibility of lay-offs due to the economic crisis, he said under no circumstances the industry should allow job losses to happen as well as production cut to take place.

“If such happens, it will have perpetuating and cascading impact. It should be the other way round," Kapur said.

Asked if the company would cut prices amidst falling demand, he replied in negative, but said “if demand shrinks, prices will go down. It will be decided by the market."