Aasha Khosa / New Delhi ACC uses cow dung, old shampoo, soap, paint sludge and even municipal waste in five plants. Cow dung, old shampoo, soap, paint sludge and even municipal waste are fed into furnaces that burn lime into cement at the plants of India's leading cement manufacturer, ACC. ACC ,which recently won the Golden Peacock award set up by the UK-based World Environment Foundation, for eco-innovation has procured more than 200,000 tonnes of waste including some hazardous ones to make cement.

India withdrew a tax benefit on the export of cement, a day after the government said producers of the building material are entitled to the incentive. The tax break allows duty-free imports of raw materials equivalent to the value of exports, under a system called the duty entitlement pass book program, or DEPB. The incentive was earlier scrapped in April to boost cement supplies and tame inflation. Tuesday's statement came from commerce ministry in New Delhi. BLOOMBERG

Cement brands like Lucky, Maple Leaf and Elephant from Pakistan are helping the construction companies in the south to check prices, albeit to a limited extent. But the companies are not sure of the supply due to weak rupee. For long it was considered that Pakistani cement will enter only parts of western India. This is the first time the cement market in south is getting exposed to cement from the neighbouring nation.

The Government has drawn attention towards utilising sea sand in place of river sand for the construction industry as a shortage prevails for river sand due to the ban on river sand mining, Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senaratne said last week. Minister Senaratne said the Government and private sector constructors must be urged to utilise sea sand in place of river sand for construction work. He said moves are underway to purify sea sand and supply it to the construction industry.

Even as the government has railed against steel and cement manufacturers for behaving like a cartel, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the body that is supposed to take action against any abuse of market dominance, says it is in no position to do so. The issue of cartels and the government's seeming inability to deal with them has once again come to the forefront after Finance Minister P Chidambaram yesterday accused the domestic cement and steel industry of forming cartels to exploit consumers.

The interim administration has initiated a move to adjust costs of ongoing projects under a compensation scheme amid rapid increase in construction material prices which has adversely affected the ADP implementation.

The growth rate of six of the country's key infrastructure industries' accelerated to 8.7 per cent in February against 7.6 per cent in the same month a year ago, reviving hopes that industrial production would speed up and help arrest the current economic slowdown. However, the overall growth rate of these sectors for the 11 months from April to February 2007-08 remained lower at 5.6 per cent than 8.7 per cent for the corresponding period of fiscal 2006-07, due to below 5 per cent growth in the preceding four months.

The cement industry is experiencing a boom on account of the overall growth of the Indian economy primarily because of increased industrial activity, flourishing real estate business, growing construction activity, and expanding investment in the

The cluster of beige corrugated-iron sheds and silos don't look like much, but this unassuming factory in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, represents a potential revolution in greenhouse gas emissions. It's the first commercial enterprise in the world dedicated to transforming waste from power stations and blast furnaces into geopolymer concrete, a particularly promising green concrete.

The combination of a booming cement market in India together with constantly rising energy costs are leading to increased usage of secondary fuels in the cement industry. Tecprosystems Pvt Ltd, India, with the support of MVW Lechtenberg, Germany is now starting the construction of a secondary fuels processing plant in Ajmer in the state of Rajasthan. July-Sep 2007