Cement Industries of Malaysia Bhd (CIMA), the Perlis-based national cement producer, is looking at leveraging on the increasing demand for cement from Singapore by building a new plant, possibly in Negeri Sembilan, said managing director Datuk Rosli Sharif today. CIMA, one of the core companies under the UEM Group, currently exports 300,000 tonnes of cement annually to Singapore from its total production of 2.8Mt. The company alredy has a plant at Bahau in Negeri Sembilan and another in Perlis.
"We are looking at opportunities in the future through building a new plant in Bahau, for example, as it is located at the southernmost location (of Peninsular Malaysia) with an abundance of limestone. Besides the location is nearer to Singapore compared to the other plant in Perlis," he told reporters here.
However, Rosli said the company wanted to re-assess the market price of cement first as although demand had risen, the price for cement was still low.
"Singapore imported at least three million tonnes of cement per year. So if the time is right, we will be able to build a plant dedicated only for the Singapore market," he added.
Rosli said the primary focus was to increase total production by 10 percent with its two existing plants to cater for domestic market. "At the moment, we are busy looking at the incremental volume with the existing capacity through process engineering and machinery performance," he said. The company’s two plants have a combined clinker production capacity of 2.8Mta and cement production capacity of 3.4Mta comprising ordinary portland cement (OPC), Type II OPC and masonary cement.
"The domestic demand at the moment is less than supply so the competition is very stiff but the price is higher than the export market," Rosli disclosed. He, however, believed that demand from the export market would increase together with the cement price and CIMA was also looking at Riau in Sumatera as another potential market. Earlier, UEM Group chairman Datuk Abu Hassan Kendut launched CIMA’s latest software solution, OptimalOne, which would enable customers to order their cement online as well as monitoring the delivary of the cement.