Cement Industry

The manufacturing of Portland cement was started in England around 1825. Belgium and Germany started the cement industries in 1855. America started the same in 1872 while India started in 1904. The first cement factory in India was installed in Tamil Nadu in 1904 by South India Industry Limited and then onwards a number of factories manufacturing cement were started. India is the second largest producer of cement in the world after China. India is followed by Indonesia, Iran, United States, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Vietnam & Japan.

The main machinery in a cement plant comprises limestone crusher and stacker reclaimer, roller mills for grinding, coal crushers, packers, pollution control equipment, belt conveyers, etc.

It is a fact that the cement industry is a major consumer of the energy using 1.5 percent of the world-fuel and about 2 percent of electricity produced globally. Hence, the attention is paid to find out ways and means to optimize power consumption in raw materials, coal and clinker grinding. One of such development is the vertical roller mills (VRM) which allows for higher drying capacity with less consumption of power. The coal is also increasingly replaced by the groundnut husk to fire the kiln.

The technology for mining in the cement industry has also been improved. Instead of conventional mining, the process known as the surface mining is adopted. It is carried out without drilling, blasting, and crushing when extracting valuable minerals. The surface mining greatly reduces the vibrations, noise and dust loads.

It is encouraging to note that a few cement companies have changed their philosophy from selling to marketing. The philosophy of marketing always keeps focus on the customer requirements. Some of the leading cement companies have introduced innovative methods of marketing. For instance, the companies have opened chain of office units from where free technical services are given to the customers through qualified and experienced application civil engineers. The companies also use various medias like television, radio, press, technical magazines, lecture series, seminars, etc. to educate the masses. Such a trend has brought consumer awareness to use right cement for right end application.

World’s top cement companies

Top global cement companies ranked on the basis of capacity (as until 2013) are as follows:

Rank Company/Group Country Capacity (Mt/yr) No. of plants
1 Lafarge France 224 161
2 CNBM China 221
3 Holcim Switzerland 218 147
4 Anhui Conch China 209
5 Jidong Development China 130 43
6 HeidelbergCement Germany 122 103
7 Sinoma China 100
8 Cemex Mexico 95 57
9 Shanshui China 93
10 China Resources China 74 17
11 Taiwan Cement Corp Taiwan 71
12 Italcementi Italy 68 53
13 Votorantim Brazil 57 22
14 UltraTech India 51 22
15 Buzzi Italy 45 39
16 Tianrui China 43 42
17 Eurocement Russia 40 16
18 Cimpor Portugal 38 39
19 Intercement Brazil 38 39
20 Jaypee India 33 12

Ranking source: Global Cement