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Motilal PE invests Rs. 35 crore in concrete block maker Magicrete

NDTV Profit – March 19, 2013

Brokerage house Motilal Oswal's private equity arm on Tuesday said it has invested Rs. 35 crore in Magicrete Building Solutions, a concrete blocks maker.

Magicrete, incorporated in 2008, is the second largest manufacturer of autoclave aerated concrete (AAC) blocks and recently forayed into offering gypsum plaster and dry mortar, Motilal Oswal Private Equity (MOPE) said.

However, it did not specify the percentage of stake it will be taking in Magicrete.

The statement said the company is aiming to become the largest manufacturer in its field by the end of the next fiscal year. "This investment will help institutionalise our business, accelerate our growth and enhance our brand with all stakeholders," MOPE managing director Sourabh Bansal said.

Cinza Concrete to set up aerated autoclave concrete blocks unit

Projects Today – Jan 6, 2014

Cinza Concrete Products is planning to set up an aerated autoclave concrete blocks unit at Bagnan, Ishwaripur in Howrah district of West Bengal.

A spokesperson for the company informed ProjectsToday (PT) that it intended to set up an aerated autoclave concrete blocks unit with a capacity of 2.5 lakh cu mtr per year in West Bengal. The required machineries will be sourced from China and India.

The project entails an investment of Rs 22 crore. The company has appointed Mr Munir Shaikh from West Bengal as civil contractor for the project.

Further, Cinza Concrete Products will finance the project through bank loan and internal accruals. The company is in the process of achieving financial closure for the project and land acquisition is underway. At present, work on the project is in the planning stage and is expected to begin by April 2014 with completion scheduled within one year from zero date.

Government offices to use fly ash bricks from September 1

The New Indian Express – July 22, 2013

Come September, Government offices located within a radius of 100 km of fly ash generating units have to mandatorily use fly ash bricks in their buildings.

With massive generation of fly ash posing a serious challenge to the environment, the Works department has issued a notification on mandatory use of fly ash bricks which would come into effect from September 1.

Administrative departments such as Rural Development, Housing and Urban, Water Resources, Forest and Environment and Industries have been asked to start following the guidelines in this regard. In fact, from this month itself, Government buildings, irrespective of their location, have been asked to use 50 per cent of their requirement from fly ash bricks.

The major challenge before the State though is the huge generation and compared to it, the low utilisation. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) guidelines say that all fly ash must be utilised or disposed of by the fifth year.

During 2011-12, fly ash generation was estimated at 23 million tonne against which about 12.5 million tonne could be utilised in sectors such as land filling, road construction, cement manufacturing and fly ash brick making. Similarly, just half of the fly ash generated from coal burning is utilised while rest is stored in ash ponds. The cumulative accumulation of fly ash after utilisation stands at a whopping 93.86 million tonne since 2000 and its disposal is a gigantic task. The recurring ash pond breaches cause further trouble.

Interestingly, use of fly ash bricks is not going to solve the problem since brick making constitutes barely about 3.25 per cent of the utilisation as bulk of the fly ash is disposed by way of land filling and mine void filling. The State had got little success in propagating use of fly ash bricks and had to notify the mandatory use in Government building construction to show a way.

What needs to be done is popularise its use in the housing sector. Though fly ash bricks are used in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and in some industrial pockets, it is yet to penetrate into the whole of the State. That the Government is trying to act as an example is a good way to popularise it.

That is not the problem though. Given the number of thermal power units proposed to come up in the State, fly ash generation is stated to rise multi-fold in the next few years. As per the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) estimates, fly ash generation could touch the 150 million tonne mark once all the installed and proposed plants go into full capacity production.

Stringent measures needed for green technology in realty sector: Experts

The Times of India – Jun 1, 2014

As India is expected to witness rapid urbanisation, the new government at the Centre needs to take stringent measures to ensure use of green technology in the construction and realty space, according to experts.

"After a period of slowdown, we now expect to see a growth in the construction and property markets. Having presented the current scenario, it becomes quite clear that much more needs to be done in a country as vast and as rapidly urbanising as ours," CBRE South Asia chairman and managing director Anshuman Magazine said.

He said there was a paramount need for more stringent government measures to inculcate the use of green technology in the construction and real estate sectors.

According to a recent study by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for LEED outside of the US, India has been ranked third in the list after China, while Canada topped the green rankings.

Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), a division of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has taken a number of initiatives for capacity building and improving the services of green buildings in the country.

Currently, the Council has certified nearly 2.07 billion sqft of green footprints in India and has set a target of 10 billion sqft by 2022.

At present, there are 200-plus LEED rated green buildings in India, about 40 IGBC green factory buildings and almost 250 IGBC rated green homes.

"We have been taking several initiatives to ensure green and sustainable environment for all. We had followed up with the earlier government to make it mandatory on developers to adopt green technologies. Though things did not move at the pace we had expected, IGBC will now pursue it with the new government," IGBC chairman Prem Jain told PTI.

Global construction industry looks to 2014 with optimism – May 2013

As per a new research by Timetric, the construction industry is more optimistic about revenue growth in 2013/14 than in 2012. Its forecast report identifies India, Brazil, the UAE, China and Saudi Arabia as promising emerging markets for 2014. Increased investments in IT infrastructure, public and private-sector construction projects, and growing demand for sustainable construction are likely to be key growth drivers.

Growing optimism among a number of surveyed executives in the global construction industry suggests that 2014 will be a better year for construction than 2012. According to the new forecast report from Timetric, the optimism is supported by a growing number of projects in the pipeline worldwide. Within the global construction industry, 53 per cent of survey respondents are ‘more optimistic’ about revenue growth expectations over the next 12 months as compared to the previous 12 months. 24 per cent of the respondents are ‘less optimistic’; while 22 per cent expect ‘no change’ in revenue growth.

Executives from the global construction industry also expect to see increased levels of consolidation, with 50 per cent of the respondents anticipating an increase in mergers and acquisition activity in 2014. Slow recovery in the global economy and weak market conditions, a growing desire for large construction companies to increase their global presence, and increased pressure of rising costs on small and medium-sized construction companies are considered the key drivers for mergers and acquisitions.

Timetric forecast report identifies India, Brazil, the UAE, China and Saudi Arabia as promising emerging markets for 2014. India particularly has been identified as a key emerging market in the global construction industry due to growth in infrastructure development in housing, roads, ports, aviation infrastructure and power generation. The US, Canada, Singapore, Australia and the UK were also identified as primary growth markets, whereas France, Italy and Spain are expected a lower growth potential.