Al-Asyah Municipality has rejected a proposal by the Al-Qasim Cement Company to build a new gypsum plant in the Al-Asyah area, Saudi Arabia saying that the proposed plant is too close to residential areas and may cause health problems to local residents.
“We have voted unanimously against granting the company a license to build its gypsum plant for health and environmental reasons,” a source from Al-Asyah Municipal Council said. “The proposed factory is very close to residential areas and dust problems usually associated with gypsum and cement manufacturing plants may cause havoc,” he added.
The cement factory in the Central Region has already applied for a license from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources to build the new plant. A representative of the company told Arab News after the meeting, “This does not prevent the company from completing the procedure of obtaining the permit using mining investment regulations, which allows industrial institutions to exploit lands needed in utilizing raw material.”
However, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is ultimately the body with the final word in whether the plant may be established or not. “If precautions and preventive measures are taken to ensure the safety of water resources and the environment, then it is legal to establish the plant,” said Husain Aazeb and Basheer Al-Maghrabi, the two Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources representatives, who were part of a committee studying the company’s request.