Relaxed procedures help ease imports into Qatar

Relaxed procedures help ease imports into Qatar
Published: 20 June 2006

Triggered by the construction boom Qatar still faces cement shortage, but the relaxed procedures have facilitated the import of about 3.8Mt of clinker and different types of cement in 2005. A study by Qatar’s Planning Council indicates that clinker and different types of cement worth QR630mn had landed at the State’s ports last year. The imported material includes ordinary, white, sulphate resistant and super sulphate cement and clinker.

Industry sources yesterday said the import of clinker and cement last year was almost double compared to 2004. This was mainly due to the relaxation in cement import procedures due to material shortage. Under this, any licensed construction or trading company based in Qatar could directly import cement on the strength of a “no-objection certificate” from Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC). Obtaining NOC from QNCC is fairly easy now, sources said.
Quite a few construction and trading firms have reportedly taken this route, obtained NOC from QNCC and directly imported cement from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, India and Thailand among other places.

QNCC is still Qatar’s major cement producer and its three production lines at Umm Bab, some 80km southwest of Doha, have a combined annual output of about 10,000tpd. The DSM-listed firm is seeking permission for a fourth production line that will take its daily production to 15,000tpd.

Planning Council figures indicate some 1.52mt of clinker worth QR266.7mn reached Qatari ports in 2005. Cement clinker was mainly imported from India, Indonesia, China and South Korea.

The quantity of ordinary cement imported in 2005, according to the Planning Council was about 1.39Mt. These were valued at QR330mn. The ordinary cement has mostly come from India and China. India alone supplied 0.83Mt of ordinary cement to Qatar.

The quantity of white cement imported by Qatar in 2005 was 785t worth QR20.2mn.

Sulphate resistant cement imported last year weighed about 1800t and totalled QR1.92mn. The quantity of super sulphate cement imported in 2005 was about 5780t and valued at QR2.73mn, Planning Council data indicated.