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We remain receptive towards exploring expansion possibilities, says Jayakumar Krishnaswamy, Managing Director, Nuvoco Vistas Corp

Digitization, IoT, Robotic process automation (RPA), Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and data analytics are playing key roles in the cement sector.  How has the implementation of these technologies helped your organization?
We have successfully embraced automation in our plant operations, particularly in areas such as quality sampling and predictive maintenance. While these advancements have undoubtedly enhanced our core processes, their true potential can only be realized through extensive manufacturing process integration. To enhance efficiency and foster innovation, Nuvoco is committed to staying current with technological advancements. As part of our digitization initiative - 'Digitally Enabled Nuvoco (DEN), the company is investing substantially, demonstrating our commitment to growth through technology.

The supply chain is an integral part of the cement industry, from where a major chunk of revenue comes. There is enough scope for innovation in the supply chain to plug sinking revenue if any. Over the years how have you transformed your supply chain management?
Overcoming supply chain challenges is paramount to the long-term success of the cement industry. Additionally, cement industry operations are heavily burdened by exorbitant freight rates. A strategic partnership between the industry and the Indian Railways could considerably improve the supply of rakes and thereby improve financial performance, contributing significantly to revenue generation. Furthermore, at Nuvoco, we have implemented innovative strategies to revolutionize our supply chain operations. One of our key initiatives is the adoption of Integrated Business Planning (IBP), which aligns production capacities and inventory levels with market demand. By leveraging advanced analytics, real-time data, and demand forecasting, we optimize supply chain operations, improve responsiveness to customer needs, and drive revenue growth. This transformation streamlines processes, minimizes waste, and ensures efficient resource utilization, leading to enhanced financial performance and customer satisfaction. Moreover, our GPS-enabled vehicles for road dispatches bolster the efficiency of our cement distribution system, safeguarding against revenue losses.

Coal is a depleting resource and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. What are the alternatives and innovations you have come up with for manufacturing cement?
The cement industry is actively exploring alternatives to coal for manufacturing cement. Currently, the industry is utilizing alternate fuels such as carbon black, municipal waste, and waste from other industries as substitutes for coal. Additionally, the industry is also exploring the feasibility of utilizing gas-based fuels depending on their availability in different regions. Recognizing the rising costs and limited availability of coal, Nuvoco is strongly committed to alternative fuel resources (AFR). Our thermal substitution rate (TSR) has doubled over the past year, reaching 9.0% in FY 23 compared to 4.5% in FY 22. Our projects at Risda and Nimbol Cement Plants aim to significantly substitute the total heat requirement with alternative fuels, reducing dependence on natural resources and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, we have made investments in green energy sources such as solar and waste heat recovery systems (WHRS) to further reduce our dependence on coal for energy needs in cement manufacturing.

Cement production releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide responsible for environmental degradation. What are the various initiatives you have taken to reduce CO2 emissions? Please share the various technologies you have integrated for the same including carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology
At Nuvoco, we understand the need to reduce CO2 emissions and are actively researching and implementing solutions to address this environmental concern. We achieved carbon emissions of 462 kg CO2 per tonne of cementitious materials, which is recognized as one of the best in the industry. The company is committed to its sustainability goals and engages in continuous research and development to explore potential methods for reducing carbon emissions across its manufacturing processes. Moreover, decarbonization is an important component of our sustainability agenda, and we aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 2% on a year-over-year basis. Our cement plants are also actively engaged in carbon sequestration by planting large quantities of specific species, taking into consideration factors such as water availability, plant density, and the survival of species in the local environment. Through these initiatives and technologies, we stay committed to minimizing CO2 emissions and contributing to a Safer, Smarter and Sustainable world.

With environmental degradation at an all-time low, the demand for ‘Green Cement’ has seen a surge. Which is the ‘Green Cement’ you have launched in the last two years?
We recognize the relevance of 'Green Cement' in combating environmental degradation as the need for ecologically-friendly solutions continues to increase. Nuvoco has launched Ecodure - Green Concrete that reduces carbon emissions by up to 60% as compared to conventional OPC mix. As a result, leading architects and developers consider it the first choice for sustainable and circular construction. Through our dedication to research and development, we aim to stay at the forefront of technological advancements and innovations in 'Green Cement'.At Nuvoco, we maintain one of the highest cement-to-clinker ratio in the industry at 1.8, emphasizing blended cement. Our recent product launches primarily revolve around composite cement, further emphasizing our commitment to incorporating blended cement.

What are your growth plans for your organization for the next three years? Is there any plan for expansion, new plant, or acquisition in the offing?
As an organization, we have a multi-layered strategy for sustainable growth. Currently we are expanding our grinding capacity at the Haryana Cement Plant (Bhiwani), aiming to reach a cement capacity of 25 MMTPA by the end of this year. This expansion will solidify our position as the fifth-largest cement group in India. Furthermore, we remain receptive towards exploring expansion possibilities in other regions, based on market conditions and demand dynamics. Our proactive approach enables us to adapt to evolving market scenarios and capitalize on growth opportunities. We remain committed to consistently evaluating our business strategy and making strategic investments that align with our mission to be a leading building materials company delivering a superior performance.


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