The two mega cement factories preparing to commence productions in Nepal within next one and a half years have said that they can replace more than 60 per cent of total cement imports once they start production.
Ghorahi Cement Industry (GCI) located in Gogli of Laxmipur VDC is preparing to start productions from June 2011, while Sonapur Cement Factory (SCF) in Dushrash too has declared of commencing operations in three months.
Once into operations, the two firms have claimed they will together replace 60 per cent cement imports. Currently, Nepal´s total annual cement demand stands at 2.5Mt and 85 per cent of the demand is fulfilled through imports.
“We have completed more than half of factory set up process. We will start productions from August this year,” Sanjay Agrawal, manager of SCF, told Republica. He elaborated that the factory will initially start productions using clinker imported from India.
The company plans to start production of clinker using local raw materials within the next five months. SCF will produce 1000tpd of cement.
“This will replace imports of cements from at least one major customs of Nepalgunj, if not more,” Agrawal said.
Likewise, GCI too has started construction of factory on 85 bighas of land. “Currently, we are building factory, residential blocks, mixing building and weighing structures. Works in factory is going on smoothly. As construction works are going as per our schedule, we are confident that we will be able to start productions by June 2011,” said Shiva Prasad Bhattarai, project coordinator, GCI.
GCI has set a target of producing 1100t of cement everyday from the very first day of its operations. “One month after starting productions, we will start producing 2000t,” he informed.
Nepal imports some INR16bn worth of cement and raw materials every year. Together, we (GCI and SCF) can easily replace more than half of that import within a year, said Bhattarai.
Officials of both these companies also indicated that the prices of their products could be cheaper than other cements as well. They attributed this difference in price to the fact that these companies will produce clinkers using local raw materials. Most of the cement factories in Nepal rely on imported clinkers for their productions.
“Ninety-five per cent of our raw materials will be sourced locally,” said Bhattarai.
Both these companies have acquired limestone quarries, paying royalty to the government. Department of Mines and Geology have authorised these companies to mine limestone from hills in Syuja VDC of Dang and southern hills of Rolpa. Both these companies have said that they are employing best and latest technology in their factories.
Three companies have acquired licenses to operate cement factories in Dang. However, Dang Cement, the third factory that has bought 45 bighas of land in Hapure, has yet to start constructions.