Cement industry can be expected to grow at 9 pc: Grasim

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Mumbai, Apr 29 (UNI) The cement industry can be expected to grow at a rate of 9 per cent and the country can be expected to have smooth run for the next 10-12 years, observed Director, CFO, Grasim, D D Rathi here today.

''Apart from temporary hiccups, India will do well and there is no concern on demand for cement,'' he said.

To meet the growth, Grasim is investing Rs 5,100 crore for capacity expansion of its cement business, which registered a 7 per cent increase in both production (at 15.36 million tonnes), and sales (at 15.54 million tonnes) volumes, during the previous fiscal.

The investment includes the relatively new, but fast growing ready-to-mix (RMC) segment, which already accounts for 70 per cent of the global market and is touted to be the 'next best thing'.

With multi-storeyed buildings required to be built using RMC, demand in India can be expected to soar.

''Though RMC is still playing a supporting role, it is growing at a rate of 8 per cent with our subsidiary UltraTech Cement also registering a 6 per cent growth,'' Mr Rathi said. The cement industry will, however, have to tackle the issue of energy, which would push up costs and prices, as acquisitions and operation of energy sources like coal mines would be difficult and impractical.

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