CMS Cement Sdn Bhd, Sarawak’s sole cement manufacturer, plans to expand capacity at its clinker plant in Mambong, about 30km from Kuching, to 2Mt by 2011.
Executive director Othman Abdul Rani said that when completed, the capacity will fully meet the company’s demand and has scope for export in the future.
"Currently, we still import about 30 to 40 per cent of the clinker we use to produce cement, thus incurring ever increasing shipping costs.
"We expect to eliminate all imports of clinker in three years and become completely self-sufficient in our clinker supply," he told reporters yesterday.
The company is evaluating whether to acquire the clinker machine from China for about RM600m or Europe for about RM1bn. "Another significant cost in the production of clinker is coal and we are looking to achieve 100 per cent local sourcing of our coal needs with the Sarawak state government’s help," he said.
Meanwhile, Othman denied that Sarawak was facing a cement shortage as reported in the media.
"There is no shortage as the two cement plants in Kuching and Bintulu are producing about 1.2tpa - that of the current cement demand in Sarawak," he said.
Othman also denied reports that the cement was sold at high prices in Sarawak. "The fact is that prices of cement have remained unchanged in Sarawak since 2006," he said.
He said the price per tonne of cement is different in each town in Sarawak due to the delivery charges. However, Othman acknowledged that neighbouring Sabah is facing a shortage of cement supply, and said that cooperative measures would be taken to help cement players in Sabah.