Shareholders approve appointment of two independent directors

At the adjourned 90th annual meeting of the company in Kolkata on Tuesday, the shareholders approved the payment of a final dividend of Rs. 3.50 per share, in addition to an interim dividend of Rs. 2.50, already paid. The total dividend for the year thus stands at Rs. 6 per share for 2009-10.

The meeting was adjourned on June 23 following an order of the Alipore Court. It was later fixed to be held on June 29. The appointment of Deepak Nayyar and M. K. Sharma as independent directors was also approved by the shareholders. Their induction has added value to the board. The reappointment of Harsh V. Lodha and D. N. Ghosh was also approved at the annual meeting.

Mr. Lodha, Chairman, said the company recorded its best performance ever in 2009-10. It is expanding capacity and continuing its efforts to control and reduce costs across all its divisions. At Satna, debottlenecking of the cement clinker capacity is expected to be completed by July 2010, increasing the capacity to 9,600 tpd from 7,400 tpd.

Similarly, at Chanderia, the expansion programme had already been completed and a 1.2 million tonne brownfield plant is being installed to raise the capacity to 3.5 million tonnes. Further, to optimise on the logistic costs, it is proposed to install a mixing and packing plant with a capacity of 3 lakh tonnes annually at Kota, Rajasthan.

The grinding capacity at Durgapur is being increased by six lakh tonnes which after completion would raise the total capacity to 2.3 million tonnes. Two power plants, based on waste heat recovery, at Satna (15 MW) and Chanderia (7.5 MW) are expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2010-11. Once these plants are set up, the company would not only be able to reduce green house gase (GHG) emissions but would also be able to generate power at a negligible cost.

After completion of the expansion programmes, the effective annual capacity of the cement division will stand enhanced at about 9 million tonnes. The expansion and modernisation projects will not only increase effective capacity but will also result in substantial improvement in operational efficiency.

The jute division has turned around, after more than 15 years, due to various management initiatives such as modernisation of machinery, reduction in wastage and use of jute caddies as fuel in the boilers. The capacity of the division is also being increased.

Keywords: Birla Corp

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