Revolutionising the Indian Cement Industry

Revolutionising the Indian Cement Industry

In a landmark event at the prestigious Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi, the 14th Cement Expo and 9th Indian Cement Review Conference 2023 unfolded a two-day symphony of innovation and collaboration. Inaugurated by Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, Ali Emir Adiguzel, Founder and Director, World...

In a landmark event at the prestigious Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi, the 14th Cement Expo and 9th Indian Cement Review Conference 2023 unfolded a two-day symphony of innovation and collaboration. Inaugurated by Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, Ali Emir Adiguzel, Founder and Director, World Cement Association, and Pratap Padode, Founder, FIRST Construction Council (FCC), the conference aimed to propel the Indian cement industry into a sustainable future marked by technological advancements. The 9th Indian Cement Review Conference 2023 served as a hub of ideas and discussions on technological innovations essential for the industry’s sustainability journey, focusing on the theme ‘Driving Sustainability Through Technology.’ In his welcome address, Padode said, “All the big players of the Indian cement industry are focussing on increasing their capacity, with an estimated projection of 200 million tonne (MT) of fresh capacity to be added in the coming years. Emphasis is also laid on being the lowest-cost cement producer in India. In fiscal 2023, 30-32 MT (inclusive of grinding and integrated units) capacity addition is reportedly expected. Given that the higher input costs have moderated we could see capacity addition picking up pace in fiscal 2024 at over 30-32 MT leading up to the addition of 150 MT by fiscal 2027. Considering this speed of expansion, the tug of competition and a buoyant demand from infrastructure and housing segments, the Indian cement sector is poised to take a giant leap.” The Conference entailed panel discussions and presentations, followed by the 7th ICR Awards. The thought-provoking sessions were complemented by the 14th India Cement EXPO that brought latest innovations in cement manufacturing and technological advancements on the same platform. Over 80 exhibitors presented their cutting-edge technology and innovations at the EXPO that was visited by more than 2000 visitors. Key Highlights The grand inauguration witnessed luminaries like Dr Vibha Dhawan and Ali Emir Adiguzel, who expressed their confidence in the Indian cement industry’s commitment to ‘Driving Sustainability Through Technology.’ The event garnered support from esteemed entities like the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government e Marketplace (GeM), and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India (GoI). Dr Dhawan addressed the issue of climate change: “Nearly two-third of infrastructure development in India is still pending. Cement and steel are materials that are required in bulk to support this kind of development. This gives an insight into a higher demand, leading to the need of higher production, which is an opportunity for cement manufacturers to grow their business and develop the nation.” She added, “The unfortunate part of climate change is that it was established that a 1.5oC increase in temperature is acceptable as per norms, but that is slowly shifting to 2.5oC. Temperature above 52oC will not support human life. It will also impact biodiversity and climate change will bring along with itself a plethora of diseases known and unknown. The impact will not be uniform across the globe. Countries like ours will be impacted more as we are already affected by climate change.” In his speech, Adiguzel said, “The power of Indian Cement industry goes beyond its sheer size. It is a catalyst for economic growth driving employment, investment and innovation, creating job opportunities directly or indirectly. The question is - are global Net Zero policies colliding with economic growth in India? Navigating the interplay between Net Zero policies, economic policies and emission targets in the cement industry is a global conversation.” Jaxay Shah, Chairperson of the Quality Council of India, emphasised the dynamic nature of the cement industry at the event through a video message. He acknowledged the significance of the Cement Expo, highlighting its role as a testament to the industry’s adaptability. Shah stressed the importance of integrating ideas, best practices, and technology to shape the future of cement and construction. Dr LP Singh, Director General, National Council for Cement and Building Material (NCB), emphasised the holistic definition of sustainability in cement and concrete, with the organisation working on every aspect to ensure future development while protecting the environment. Kaustubh Phadke, India Head, Global Cement and Concrete Association, lauded the Indian cement sector as the most energy-efficient globally, reducing over 40 per cent of CO2 intensity at the national level. The industry aims to deliver Net Zero concrete by 2050, aligning with global sustainability goals. Ulhas Parlikar presented a technical paper on ‘Circular Economy Practices in Cement Production,’ emphasising the significance of embracing circular economy principles for a sustainable cement industry. The conference also included presentations by Flender, Gebr. Pfeiffer, Loesche India, ATS Conveyors, TAIHEIYO Engineering Corporation, KHD HUMBOLDT and ISGEC. ICR Awards The 7th Indian Cement Review Awards commenced with a lamp lighting ceremony with the guest of honour Lt General Raghu Srinivasan, Director General, Border Roads Organisation; Pratap Padode, Founder and President FIRST Construction Council; and Sumit Banerjee, Chairman Editorial Board, Indian Cement Review. Padode delivered the welcome address to the eminent dignitaries and guests. This was followed by a presentation by Tanveer Padode, Chief Information Officer, ASAPP Global, on the new developments within the company. Thereafter, the chief guest unveiled the Indian Cement Review Annual issue. Falguni Padode, Co-founder, ASAPP Global joined in for the unveiling. Members of the awards jury were felicitated and the Awards function got underway. Recognising her contribution to the cement industry, Vinita Singhania, Vice Chairman and Managing Director at JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd, and Chairman of Udaipur Cement Works Ltd, was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. In her acceptance speech, she said, “I remember when I had entered the industry in the late ’80s, with a basic understanding of management, a lot of eyebrows were raised as it was thought to be a male dominated industry. but over the period of time, I picked up the required knowledge to operate the business. Being a woman meant handling business and family simultaneously. For the first few years, it was challenging for me but my great team helped me a lot to achieve excellence.” She further added, “We should invest our time, effort and capital to educate and empower the women for their upliftment, growth and independence. I look forward to the continued growth of the cement industry.” The guest of honour Lt General Raghu Srinivasan, Director General, Border Roads Organisation, said, “We are working in some of the most difficult parts of the world, in terms of climate and terrain. As Director General of Border Roads Organisation, we have projects in every border state, covering deserts, high mountains, rainforests, and construction work in these places is done as per seasons. In the North, you cannot work in the winters, and neither in the North-East during monsoon. This is one of the challenges for which we need to have an interface with the industry, and ask the industry to develop something that works for us in these typical working conditions. We use approximately 3 lakh MT of cement per year. We are doing innovative work in many fields, and now I have realised that cement is one of the industries we should engage with.” UltraTech Cement, JK Cement, JSW Cement, Star Cement, etc. were among the winners of ICR Fastest Growing Cement Company awards in various categories. The complete list of the 7th Indian Cement Review Award winners is as follows: Conclusion The 14th Cement Expo and the Indian Cement Review Conference and Awards set the stage for a transformative journey, steering the Indian cement industry from challenges to opportunities through technological advancements. As the industry focuses on sustainability, innovation, and global collaboration, the event stands as a testament to the sector’s commitment to driving positive change and achieving net-zero targets. - Kanishka Ramchandani

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