The first batch of cement produced by the Seament Qatar Al Tijariah was expected to hit the local market within a couple of days. The production was already booked by contractors and the demand was growing by the day, an official at SQAT, said.
The first cement from SQAT’s specialised ship, Sealo-I which now lies docked at the Mesiaeed port, he disclosed, was already sold out and orders for future production were pouring in. SQAT offers high quality, Ordinary Portland Cement, which is commonly used for the construction of buildings. The company has offered cement in 50kg bags or bulk, to be delivered in trucks. Sealo-I floating cement terminal can produce up to 6000tpd of cement, working round the clock. Such cement can also be obtained 24 hours from the terminal since Sealo-1 can store up to 32,000t on board.
SQAT, a joint venture project between local investors and Seament International, is said to be a unique solution for Qatar’s ongoing cement crises. The cement shortage in the country was triggered by uncontrolled building activities that saw old residential and commercial premises razed to make way for plush new ones. A huge demand for the building material also exists due to the various infrastructural projects that are currently ongoing in the country as well as those for the Doha Asian Games 2006.
Nasser Al Meer, member, Qatar Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman, Qatar-Gulf Projects, said it was vital to study the prices of cement prevailing in the market currently. He disclosed, the QCCI had undertaken various efforts to solve the cement shortage in collaboration with various authorities shortly after the crises broke out. Meetings between QCCI officials and various ministers were also held to find ways and means to address the situation, which, he said, had affected several building contractors in the country.
According to construction industry sources, some 18,000t of cement was needed every month by a single company to complete their ongoing projects. However, each such firm had managed to procure only about 500t from the local market, which, they said, clearly indicated the gravity of the problem.