by Rakesh Dubey
December 29, 2008: JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd, the cement manufacturing arm of the multi-faceted J K Group, expects that the company's fourth grinding unit at Kalol will be in operation by January 2009 and that will help it increase cement making capacity to about 5 million tons per annum (mtpa) from the current level of 3.8 mtpa, a senior official of the company told Coal Insights.
At present, the company has one cement plant with three kilns at Sirohi in Rajashtan, but it is adding another grinding unit at Kalol that will have a capacity of 0.6 mtpa, the official said.
The Delhi-based official said that the company is also working on a fast pace to set up a new cement plant of 2.5 mtpa at Durg in Chhattisgarh, that will increase the company's cemet making capacity to about 7.5 mtpa.
"We have already started land acquisition for the plant at Durg and also placed tenders to purchase equipment. The plant is likely to be operational by 2011-12," the official said.
The official said that at present it is using around 30,000 tons per month or about 360,000 tons per annum of coal and pet coke for making cement and producing electricity from its captive power plants. However, going forward, the requirement of coal and pet coke will go up to 45,000 tons per month or about 540,000 tons per annum with the setting up of new plant.
Of the total coal and pet coke requirement, nearly 17,000 tons per month is to run kilns for making cement, while about 12,000 tons is used for generating captive power, he said, adding, "We are mostly buying pet coke from Reliance Industries, though a part of the total requirement is also imported."
He pointed out that in recent times, there have been some quality related issues with availability of domestic pet coke. Due to sharp increase in crude oil prices, Reliance was using low grade of crude oil for refining, compromising on the quality of pet coke that was being generated.
The official said that the company had to recently import coal. When crude prices touched $157 a barrel, Reliance started to buy high sulphur coal. However, with the increase in sulphur content in crude oil, the level of sulphur in pet coke also went up, which created a kind of coating in kilns.
"At that point of time, we had to mix 15 percent of coal in order to remove formation of coating in kilns so that it worked to full capacity. Now with crude oil prices falling, Reliance may again start processing better grade of crude so things should be all right," he said.
The company official said that it does not buy domestic coal and imports almost the entire requirement from Indonesia. "We had been given coal linkages in the past, but we had surrendered the linkage. Over the last 10 to 12 years, we are using pet coke, which we sometimes imported depending on market conditions," the official said.
The official, however, made it clear that once their new plant at Durg comes into operation, they will look for fresh linkages for coal.
Asked if they had been allotted any captive coal block by the government, the official said that the company had applied for some blocks, but did not pursue the matter further as they were being allotted underground coal blocks. "In the next round of allotment of blocks, we will pitch again," the official said.
The official pointed out that JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd is the first cement manufacturer in north India to use coloured bags to help the customer in segregating different products. It also has a regular contact programme with masons, dealers and architects to keep abreast of their needs and requirements.
He recalled that one of the many innovative initiatives that the company took was to have a mason's club that now has over 15000 members. Under this programme, the masons were given an insurance cover against accidents absolutely free of cost, besides educating them on the latest in construction activities.
The high standard of advertising has been another feather in the cap of JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd. This has not only helped it to reach out to its customers but also in connecting with them at an emotional level.
The JK Lakshmi cement plant, which was started in 1982 in a remote area in the zero-industry district in Sirohi in Rajasthan, is renowned for its strength, quality and performance. The Sirohi plant has an annual capacity of 3.65 million tones, and it uses the latest technology from Blue Circle Industries and modern equipment from Fuller International of the US.
It is also the first cement producer of northern India to be awarded an ISO 9002 certificate and be accredited by NABL (Department of Science & Technology, Government of India) for its Lab Quality Management systems. In addition, the company's cement manufacturing facility has been rated the Greenest Cement Plant of India by CSE GRP 2005 thus highlighting its commitment to the environment even while ensuring the highest standards of quality for products.
Commenting on the dealer and distributor network, the official said the company has a wide network of over 2000 dealers spread across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Mumbai and the vast pool of highly trained and dedicated marketing and technical service team that helps the Company to service its customers at their doorstep.
Keeping in touch with the global construction trends and changing needs of customers, the company has introduced state-of-the-art Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) with the brand name" JK Lakshmi Power Mix". Currently, the company has nine fully operational plants in the western and northern regions of the country and is further expanding in this area. 'JK Lakshmiplast', the first premium branded Plaster of Paris (POP) in northern India, is another value added product launched by the company for its customers.
An integral part of major projects like IGNP, Sardar Sarovar Dam, Golden Quadrilateral and major corporations like L&T, Reliance, NTPC, Essar and Airport Authority of India, JK Lakshmi Cement has become the preferred choice among the customers because of its consistency, high level of quality and impeccable customer service.
Source: Coal Insights