Cement is an indispensable building material required for the construction of houses, bridges, tunnels, dams etc.
The start of cement manufacturing in India goes back to 1904, when the first cement factory was set up in Madras. Its production was as low as 30 tonnes a day, as such it failed.
The real beginning of this industry came up in 1913, when three units were set up at ICatni (Madhya Pradesh) in 1915, Lekheri (Tamil Nadu) in 1916 and Porbander (Gujarat) in 1913. The First World War gave incentive to the industry and a few more factories were set up at Japla (Bihar), Dwarka (Gujarat) and Banmore (Madhya Pradesh). In 1934, ten out of eleven cement manufacturing companies merged together and formed one Associated Cement Company (A.C.C.).
The Dalmia Group entered in the field of cement manufacturing in 1937. This group set’up its factories at Dalmianagar Bihar, Dadri (Haryana) and Dalmiapuram (Tamil Nadu). At the time of partition, there were 18 cement factories with an annual installed capacity of 21-15 Lakh tons.
Three more factories were established just after independence at Talaiyuthu (Tamil Nadu), Kottayam (Kerala) and Sikka (Gujarat).
The production of cement was boosted up after 1950. It is because of developmental work in the country, like construction of multipurpose river valley projects, means of transport, industries and housing activity.
Percentage production of cement
In order to meet the growing demand of cement, a number of factories were set up in the country. Presently, there are 120 factories.
The industry depends upon the availability of limestone, clay or shale and gypsum. These natural materials are mined in different regions; as such factories are set up close to the sources of raw material.
Development of means of transport and availability of capital are other factors which determine development of cement industry.
Although, in India, cement manufacturing has developed in different states except a few like Punjab, yet 85% of the cement manufacturing is carried on in the states of Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. Eleven types of cement is manufactured in India like
Slag Cement 10%
The state of Tamil Nadu has a very well developed cement industry.
The state of Tamil Nadu has a very well developed cement industry. There are eight factories, Ths Talukapatli cement factory is one of the largest in the country. Its annual capacity is about 10 lalch tonnes.
The industry is attributed to enormous reserves of raw material in the state, availability of cheap labour and demand for cement.
Other cement factories are at Madhukarni, Dalmiapuram, Poliyur, Chhattisgarh, Alangulam, Talaiyuthu, Sankaridurg and Aryalur.
Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
These two states are the largest producer of cement in India. The centres are at Jamul, Satna, Banmore, Katni, Gopalnagar, Durg, Kaymore, Tilda, Khor, Mandhar.
The Akaltara Cement Factory produces about 11 lakh tonnes of cement every year. New plants are located at Rewa and Neemuch.
Cement manufacturing is carried on at a number of centres in the state of Gujarat. The Saurasthra Cement Company and Digvijay Company dominate cement production in the state.
The Vadodra, Okha, Viraval, Bhavnagar factories are located at Ranavav, Sikka, Ahmedabad, Dwarka, Porbander, Sevalia and Amiragarh. Gujarat state has rich resources of raw material required for cement manufacturing.
Cement manufacturing in the Bihar state is done at Japla, Sindri, Dalmianagar, Kalyanpur, Khalari and Chaibasa. Two new factories have been set up at Bhawanthpur. The rich coal and lime-stone reserves are the major assets for the development of cement manufacturing.
Rajasthan has rich potentials for cement manufacturing. Cement factories are located at Lakheri, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bundi, Banas, Beawar, Nimbaheda and Sirohi.
Cement is also produced in various other states of the country. These are :
Karnataka: Bangalore, Wadi, Hosdurga, Bagalkot, Shahabad, Krukunta. Dadri.
Himachal Pradesh: Bilaspur (Gaggal) Paonta Sahib.
Andhra Praqdesh: Hyderabad and Vijaywada, Panyon, Tandur, Adilabad, Vishakhapatnam.
Uttar Pradesh: Allahabad Churk, Dalla Chun
Maharashtra: Chanda, Ratnagiri, Mumbai, Kohlapur.
West Bengal: Prulia, Durgapur, Asansol.
Production of cement in this country is controlled mainly by private companies. The Associated Cement Company Ltd. (A.C.C.) and the Dalmia Group control bulk of the cement production.
The Cement Corporation of India, a public sector concern has set up a number of cement factories, in die country, one each in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Haryana, two in Andhra Pardesh and three in Madhya Pradesh.
India also manufactures asbestos cement. Twelve units in the country manufacture asbestos cement.
India has developed some export trade in cement. At times it exports cement and cement products to the countries like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Mynmar, Sri Lanka, E. African countries and South East Asian Countries.
However, at times the country has to import cement from Poland, Indonesia, Korea etc. to meet the growing demand of cement in the country.
Cement industry of India faces problems like those of shortage of coal for running the factories and at times shortage of railway wagons for the transportation of cement to the markets.
Cement manufacturing is one of the most advanced industries in India. A decade back, the country was having deficient production of cement and had to resort to import it from different countries in order to meet country’s demand of cement.
However, after March, 1989 due to changes in the policy, cement industry made rapid strides both in capacity/production and process technology. At present there are
122 large cement plants with an installed capacity of 112-95 million tonnes per annum and more than 300 mini cement plants with a combined estimated capacity of nine million tonnes per annum. The production during 1999-2000 was 100-72 million tonnes (provisional). The cement industry achieved a growth rate of 15 per cent in 1999-2000.
India is producing different varieties of cement like Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), Portland Blast Furnace Slag Cement (PBFS), Oil Well Cement, White Cement, etc.
These different varieties of cement are produced strictly under BIS specifications and the quality is comparable with the best in the world.
The cement industry has kept pace with technological advancement and modernization. Export of cement was 3-14 million tonnes (provisional) in 1999- 2000. Improvement in the quality of Indian Cement has found its ready market in a number of countries named earlier.
In order to meet the increasing trained manpower requirement of the Indian Cement Industry, a Human Resource Development (HRD) Project has been implemented with assistance from World Bank and DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency).
Under this Project, four Regional Training Centres have been set up at ACC -Jamul (M.P), Dalmia Cement Dalmiapuram (T.N.), JK Cement Nimbahera (Rajasthan) and Gujarat Ambuja, Ambuja Nagar (Gujarat).