Cement is essential for construction activity such as building houses, factories, bridges, roads, airports, dams and for other commercial establishments. This industry requires bulky and heavy raw materials like limestone, silica, alumina and gypsum. Coal and electric power are needed apart from rail transportation. The industry has strategically located plants in Gujarat that have suitable access to the market in the Gulf countries. The first cement plant was set up in Chennai in 1904.
After Independence the industry expanded. Decontrol of price and distribution since 1989 and other policy reforms led the cement industry to make rapid strides in capacity, process, technology and production. There are 128 large plants and 332 mini cement plants in the country. India produces a variety of cement. Improvement in the quality has found the produce a readily available market in East Asia, Middle East, Africa and South Asia apart from a large demand within the country. This industry is doing well in terms of production as well as export. Efforts are being made to generate adequate domestic demand and supply in order to sustain this industry.
In recent years sea shells, sludge obtain from chemical fertilizers and slag obtained from iron and steel industry are also being used as raw materials besides limestone.
• Plants based on sea shells: Dwarika, Chennai, Thruvananthpuram and Porbandar.
• Plant based on sludge: Sludge obtained from the fertilizer palnt in Sindri is the base for the cement plant in Sindri.
• Plant based on slag: Jhinkpani (Chaibasa, Jharkhand), Bhadravati, Rourkela, Durgapur, Vishakhapatnam, Durg (Chhattisgarh) cement plants have been set up near iron and steel plants.
Major cement producing states and plants
• Madhya Pradesh - Satna, Katni, Maihar, Jabalpur, Ratlam, Neemach, Banmor, Akaltara etc.
• Chhattisgarh- Jamul, Durg, Mandhar etc.
• Andhra Pradesh - Vijayawada, Krishna, Guntur, Kurnool, Vishakhapatnam etc.
• Telangana - Adilabad
• Rajasthan - Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, Lakheri, Churu, Chittorgarh etc.
• Gujarat - Porbandar, Jamnagar, Dwarika, Ahmedabad, Sikka, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Veraval etc
• Tamil Nadu - Tulukapatti, Thalaiyuthu, Dalmiapuram, Tirunelveli etc
• Karnataka - Bhadravati, Shahabad, Kurkunta, Bagalkot, Gulbarga etc.
• Maharashtra - Chanda, Ratnagiri, Sevari, Manikgarh etc.
• Bihar - All cement plants in Bihar have been set up on the bank of the river Son. Banjari, Dalmianagar, Kalyanpur are major cement plants
• Jharkhand - Sindri, Khelari, Jhinkpani (Chaibasa), Japla (Palamau) etc
• Uttar Pradesh - Churk, Dalla, Chunar etc.
• Haryana - Surajpur, Charkhi Dadri etc
• Odisha - Rajgangpur, Hirakud etc.
• Himachal Pradesh - Rajban, Gagal etc.
• Jammu & Kashmir- Wuyan, Basoli etc.