‘The facility will be 100 per cent import substitute’

Kerneos India Aluminate Private Limited (KIAPL) will set up calcium aluminate cement production unit at Atchutapuram with an investment of Rs.100 crore during the first phase.

KIAPL Managing Director Segi P. Idicula told The Hindu that this facility would be 100 per cent import substitute. Land acquisition is over and the company is awaiting environmental clearance to take up construction work.

During the first phase the unit will have a capacity to produce 30,000 tonnes per annum. It is the most vital component of a castable. Twenty acres have been bought from APIIC.

Mr. Idicula said the first phase would be completed in 2014. Later the capacity will be doubled as part of expansion. At present, the product used for improving castable refractories is being imported from China, France and United Kingdom.

With castables penetrating into steel, ceramic and other sectors, the demand is growing. Kerneos has global presence and its international arm is owned by Materis which has a turnover of over two billion euros.

To a question, he said calcium aluminate cement produced from their Visakhapatnam unit would help in reduction of freight as well as production cost for the clients in the eastern belt. Bauxite and lime are the raw materials, which are used for its production. “Easy access to raw material and availability of land and manpower brought us to Visakhapatnam to invest,” he said.

This will be the seventh country where Kerneos is establishing its facility.

It has production units in China, France, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Brazil. Mr. Idicula said with the projected growth of steel and refractories, the demand for castables with calcium aluminate cement would go up. Admitting that the steel production, which was 72 million tonnes last year, had remained two years behind schedule than the projected growth, he said the national steel policy envisaged achieving 220 million tonnes by 2020.

Expansion mode

It is expected that steel production will cross 100 million tonnes in next three years. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, Steel Authority of India Limited and other steel producers are on an expansion mode.

“Even the infrastructure sector, which is facing ups and downs in past two to three years, is expected to be back on track within next six months,” he said. Hence, there is a good future for improving castable refractories with calcium aluminate cements.

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