Bangladeshi cement producer, Meghna Cement Mills Ltd, is set to expand its production capacity due to consistent consumption and export growth. "We are going to enhance our productivity and capacity utilisation as well in the new year," an official of Meghna Cement told local reporters. He said the company has already grabbed a big market in country’s northern and western areas and now it is going to penetrate in the rest of the country. The company which went into full production in January 1996 has the factory at Mongla Port in Bagerhat district.
According to the latest annual report of the company, Meghna Cement had a production capacity of 1.0Mta in the year ended December 31, 2008, but it produced 558,494t during the period. “We are going to raise the production in the coming new year as construction industry is set to see huge demand of the item," the Meghna Cement executive hinted. Commenting on the sharp fall of profitability of the company in 2008, managing director of the company, Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said: The performance of the construction sector was very low as the implementation of the public works was very slow during the emergency period of 2007 and 2008 resulting lower turnover of the backward linkage industries including cement sector of the country. "Consumption of cement, one of the key backward linkages of the construction and real estate sectors is expected to witness phenomenal growth in Bangladesh in the new year as major infrastructure projects like Padma Bridge, Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway will begin shortly," an industry observer said.
An official of Bangladesh Cement Manufacturing Association, said though cement consumption is growing, local manufacturers have to keep a large portion of their factories idle, as "local factories will be able to produce at maximum capacity when those public construction works begin".
Presently there are 30 operational cement companies that can produce around 20Mta of cement against a demand for 8.5Mt. Of them, HeidelbergCement, Lafarge Surma Cement, Confidence Cement, Meghna Cement, Niloy Cement, Aramit Cement, Padma Cement and Modern Cement are listed on the stock exchanges.