A group of Qatari businessmen have found a unique solution to meet the severe shortfall of cement in the local market. They have brought in a floating cement factory which is now docked in the Mesaieed port and expected to commence production before the end of this week.
The factory is based on the ship, MV Sealo-1, which sailed into the Messaeeid port yesterday. The ship has a capacity to produce some 6000tpd of cement and can store up to 32,000t of unpacked cement at a time.
Zaid Al Batrami, a spokesman for the entrepreneurs said the promoters decided to undertake the project to help the country overcome the acute cement shortage and complete the various ongoing projects, including some for the 2006 Asian Games, on schedule. Naseeb Mansour, Executive Manager, Cement International, said, production from the floating factory was expected to be marketed locally within the next two days.
The company will offer 50kg bags of cement, which will be loaded on trucks as soon as they are ready for delivery to the local market. The ship, he said, was contracted initially for two years and the tenure could be extended further, if required. The floating factory, he said, had come to the rescue of several countries that had faced cement shortage, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, in the region.
Meanwhile, several local builders and contractors complained that the cement shortage had hit their businesses hard. Naif bin Barak bin Barak Al Hajri, who owns the Baraka Contracting Company, said, several of his important building projects were suffering due to the shortage of cement, steel and other building materials.