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Binani Cement heads for African expansion

business Updated: Jan 15, 2010 22:29 IST
Vivek Sinha
Vivek Sinha
Hindustan Times
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Binani Industries is placing its bets firmly on the emerging African continent as the next growth hotspot as demand for cement remains subdued in Dubai.

The company had recently ramped up cement production capacity at its Dubai unit from 0.5 million tonnes to 2 million tonnes, but demand tanked as financial meltdown gripped the region.

“There has been a 15 per cent drop in cement prices at Dubai over the last two months,” Vinod Juneja, managing director Binani Group of Industries told Hindustan Times. Juneja added that the company has initiated the process if exporting cement to African countries like Sudan, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

“There is a huge opportunity to export cement in the African countries and we wish to utilise our Dubai capacity for exporting cement to Africa.”

He added that at present the company sells 40 per cent of cement produced at Dubai unit to Abu Dhabi while the remaining 60 per cent is sold within Dubai on a cash & carry basis.

“The recent crisis at Dubai notwithstanding we plan to use our installed cement capacity at Dubai to gain a foothold in the adjoining markets and Africa will be a major market for us in the months to come,” said Juneja.

Cement production at Dubai plant is being supported from clinkers imported from China, Pakistan and India.

“We are also in talks to set up another cement plant at Abu Dhabi,” Juneja added. He refused to give further details as the matter was still at the discussion stage.

The company plans to source clinkers from China that would transported to its Dubai unit for producing cement.