The cement industry, in the year’s first eight months, produced 17.925Mt of cement and clinker, a major raw material used in cement production, up 12.8 per cent over the same period last year, said the Ministry of Construction.
Vietnam Cement Corporation (VNCC) produced 8.409Mt, an increase of 13.5 per cent in the first eight months. The joint-venture companies reported an increase of 4.616Mt and vertical kiln cement plants produced 2Mt.
Meanwhile, the consumption of cement in the first eight months reached 17.161Mt 2.262Mt in August alone. VNCC accounts for 56 per cent of the consumption, said Tong Van Nga, deputy Minister of Construction.
Due to the increase in production and consumption of cement, the industry plans to convert 20 vertical kiln cement production plants to high-tech rotary kiln plants.
The changeover will further increase cement capacity and quality, minimise the waste of material sources, and minimise environmental pollution.
Twenty of the 55 existing vertical kiln cement plants have met the necessary requirements to convert them to rotary kiln plants.
Under the regulation issued by the Ministry of Construction, the qualified plants must produce at least 60,000tpa of cement, the land and infrastructure must meet investment demand, and finally they have to guarantee that their material source will last for the next 50 years.
According to the programme, the remaining plants which do not yet meet these conditions will gradually be converted to rotary kiln cement plants by 2009, reported the Ministry of Construction.
Nevertheless, it will be still difficult to convert vertical kiln cement plants to rotary kiln cement plants due to the large amount of investment capital needed.
The Ministry of Construction estimated that is will cost VND30bn (US$1.9m) for each. Also, the conversion will cut into the company’s profits while the plant is temporarily shut down during construction.
To ensure the success of the conversion programme, the cement industry requested that the Ministry of Construction and local authorities help by speeding along the rebuilding process and by providing a source of capital for this project.
The domestic cement industry, comprising more than 20 firms, produces 16.4Mtof clinker and 24Mta of cement.