Israel: Nesher to pack cement in smaller bags

Israel: Nesher to pack cement in smaller bags
Published: 13 December 2013

Tagged Under: Israel Nesher Cement 

Nesher Cement has to comply with a Knesset committee bill to sell cement in 25kg bags in addition to the 50kg bags that are currently available. Nesher has asked for more time to make the switch-over, but the request has been refused by the committee.

“The company is preparing to manufacture 25kg bags in any case, with no connection to this bill,” Nesher vice-president Aya Avidor told the Knesset members. “But it requires a lot of logistics and will cost ILS20m (US$5.7m). We request a year-and-a-half to prepare.”

The bill, which was approved for its first reading by the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, is supposedly a measure to protect the health of construction workers, who report physical ailments from carrying 50kg bags of cement.

However, it has drawn criticism from the Economy Ministry, which claims it is an attempt by Nesher to protect itself against imports that would interfere with its local monopoly.

Eran Siv, chairman of the association of renovation contractors, told local news source Haaretz that his organisation has been trying to persuade Nesher to sell its cement in smaller bags for eight years, but the company demurred, saying it would require replacing machinery and production lines and would therefore be too expensive.