Afghanistan’s Mines Ministry said more new private cement factories would be established within three years to help in fulfilling 50 per cent of the country’s cement needs. Engineer Khozhman Uloomi, spokesman for the mines ministry, said that a license had already been issued to one factory to be set up in the northern Baghlan province, while three others would get licenses in the near future.
Afghan Invest Com, which recently received a license, will be the biggest private cement factory and will be established in Pul-i-Khumri in two years. It would produce 7000t of cement daily, Uloomi said.
Safi Brothers will be the second factory to get a licence next week after participating in a bid in the western city of Herat. The factory will produce 3500t of cement on a daily basis.
Uloomi said the other two factories had an open chance to start work in the provinces of Herat, Baghlan, Kandahar, Nangarhar and Bamyan. No applicant with less than US$140m in investment would be given a licence to set up factory, he contended.
Currently, only one factory is operative in Pul-i-Khumri that produces 100t of cement on a daily basis, but the output is nothing compared to the growing demand.
This factory will also be joined with Invest Com and thus its production will be increased to 1400tpd. Uloomi said Afghanistan at present needs 5-8Mt of cement per year, but demand will be further increased due to the ongoing reconstruction process. Prices of cement have also risen during the last two years.
Afghanistan reportedly imported 2Mt of cement from Pakistan last year and the rest was imported from other countries.