The Kolkata-based cement-to-jute manufacturer may come up with its first plant abroad in Ethiopia, where it has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, Birla Corp Cement Manufacturing Plc, according to a BS report. The company has already got license for limestone mining and applied for a coal mining permit in the east African country, noted the report.
With the ban on limestone mining at its Chanderia unit in Rajasthan since August last year still affecting Birla Corporation’s cement business, the flagship firm of the MP Birla Group, is now exploring the possibility of foreign ventures, said the report.
Harsh V Lodha, Chairman of Birla Corp told media in Kolkata yesterday: 'We have formed a subsidiary to apply for the necessary licences. Once we get a coal mining permit, we will study the market to decide on the next course of action'. According to the official, the group was also exploring possibilities in other regions. However, he refused to share the details, the report said.
“We are sourcing raw materials from other sources for Chanderia cement plant. This has affected our profitability,” Lodha added. Birla Corp is planning a legal move against a stay on limestone mining operations at Chanderia in Rajasthan. The company expanded the Chanderia unit’s capacity by 1.2 million tonne (MT) in March this year, but has not been able to utilise the entire capacity.
Meanwhile, during the AGM shareholders demanded a poll on all the six proposed resolutions including reappointment of HV Lodha as chairman of the company, after a four-and-a-half hour long deliberations on the accounts and corporate governance issues, the report added.