Afghanistan’s Mines Ministry granted a licence to a private cement company that will invest US$140m in a new plant. Safi Brothers, which was the only bidder for the license, received the licence in presence of representatives from the ministries of finance, economy, industries and mines.
Director of the factory Ghulam Hazrat Safi told Pajhwok Afghan News they would soon start work on building a factory some 25km west of Herat city and its construction would be completed in three years. He said the factory would produce 3500t of cement on a daily basis and will provide jobs to 500 people.
The first and the biggest cement factory in Afghanistan, Invest Com, has also just received a license and two other companies are expected to be granted licenses by the end of the year, according to mines ministry officials. Invest Com, which will start work in Pul-i-Khumri in two years, is supposed to produce 7000t of cement daily.
There are currently only two cement factories, both run by the government, in Herat province and in Jabal Siraj, north of Kabul. Their production is far less than what Afghanistan needs now.
Afghanistan at present needs five to eight million tonnes of cement per year, but demand will be further increased due to the ongoing reconstruction process. Cement prices have also increased during the last two years. Afghanistan imported 2Mt of cement from Pakistan last year, while the rest was imported from other countries.