The cement sector notably plays a critical role in the economic growth of the country and its journey towards conclusive growth. Cement is vital to the construction sector and all infrastructural projects. The construction sector alone constitutes 7 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The industry occupies an important place in the Indian economy because of its strong linkages to other sectors such as construction, transportation, coal and power.
India is the second largest producer of quality cement in the world. The cement industry in India comprises 183 large cement plants and over 365 mini cement plants. Currently there are 40 players in the industry across the country.
The cement industry in India is experiencing a boom on account of overall growth in the economy. The demand for cement, being a derived one, depends mainly on the industrial activities, real estate business, construction activities and investment in the infrastructure sector.
The Indian cement industry is involved in production of several types of cement such as Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), Portland Blast Furnace Slag Cement (PBFS), Oil Well Cement, Rapid Hardening Portland Cement, Sulphate Resisting Portland Cement, White Cement, etc. They are produced strictly as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications and their quality is comparable with the best in the world.
Indian cement majors—ACC Ltd, Shree Cement Ltd and Ultratech—have signed a cooperation pact to support low-carbon investments in India. The pact was signed in Geneva with member companies of the World Business Council (WBC) for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Under the pact, a Low Carbon Technology Roadmap for the Indian cement industry is to be launched this year-end. The roadmap will outline a possible transition path for the cement industry to reduce its direct emissions by 18 per cent by 2050.
The cement industry of India is expected to add 30-40 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of capacity in 2013. The industry has a current capacity of 324 MTPA and operates at 75-80 per cent utilisation.
"It is anticipated that the cement industry players will continue to increase their annual cement output in coming years and the country's cement production will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 12 per cent during 2011-12 - 2013-14 to reach 303 million metric tonne (MMT)," according to a report titled 'Indian Cement Industry Forecast to 2012', by research firm RNCOS.
The cement and gypsum products sector has attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth Rs 11,779.04 crore (US$ 2.12 billion) between April 2000 to February 2013, according to the data published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Some of the major investments in the sector are as follows: