Assam firm in growth mode

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By Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 14.02.07

Calcutta, Feb. 14: Assam-based Barak Valley Cements Ltd, which plans to come out with a public issue soon, has approached the Orissa and Jharkhand governments to get lease of coal mines and limestone quarries for its 2-million-tonne per annum cement plant.

Bijay Garodia, chairman and a promoter of Barak Valley, said, “We have big expansion plans not only in the cement sector, but in power generation also.”

The company makes ordinary portland and pozzolona cement from its unit near Silchar since 2001.

Barak Valley is setting up a 6-mw biomass power plant near its cement plant in Silchar. “The captive power plant is being set up at an investment of Rs 22 crore,” Garodia said, adding that the company plans to set up more such power plants in the northeastern states.

“We have sought to buy 3,000 acres from the Assam government for bamboo cultivation to feed our biomass power plants,” said Mahendra Agarwal, director of the company.

The company will require 3-mw from the power plant for its own consumption, while another 1 mw will be needed to run the plant. “We plan to sell the remaining 2 mw to the state government,” Agarwal said.

The company sees a big opportunity in electricity generation in the power-starved Assam and the Northeast.

Barak Valley also plans to make its foray into thermal power generation. “We participated in the bidding for 36 captive coal blocks announced by the Union government recently. We propose to set up thermal power plants with a capacity of 1,200 mw,” Agarwal said.

However, the company has no plan to get into hydroelectricity generation. “As of now, our focus is on expanding our cement-manufacturing capacity and biomass power plant,” Garodia said.

The company is investing Rs 8 crore to increase the capacity of its Silchar plant to 650 tonnes a day from 460 tonnes a day. “The expansion will be completed by April-May this year,” Garodia said.

“We are also setting up a limestone crushing plant in Meghalaya with an investment of Rs 4 crore,” Agarwal said.

The company proposes to invest Rs 45 crore for expansion and the fund will be raised through the initial public offer.