The Vietnamese Construction Ministry will close down cement plants using coral as a raw material in production to protect marine ecology. Plants using coral are concentrated mainly in the southern central region, including the Hon Khoi plant in Khanh Hoa province and the Ninh Hai plant in Ninh Thuan province. Due to the shortage of limestone and inconvenient transport in the region, the plants have used coral as an alternative material, affecting the local biological system and the continental shelf.
It is estimated that the southern central region will need an additional 4Mt of cement by 2010. To ease the region’s shortage of cement supply from the close-down, the Construction Ministry plans to build a new cement plant close to Thach My limestone mine in Quang Nam province. The plant, with a designed annual capacity of 1.4Mt, is scheduled to start operating in 2008.