India Cements is probably the first south-based cement maker to step in the north and west with plans in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. Similarly, Kanpur-based JK Cement is setting up a plant deep south in Karnataka. Jaypee is going ahead with huge expansion projects in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand whereas French major Lafarge is eyeing Karnataka, Meghalaya and Rajasthan after Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. "Venturing into new markets within the country will help companies improve realisations as the industry’s average realisation has dipped to $100-120 a tonne from $180-200 a tonne a few quarters back," said a cement expert.
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