Nepal: cement grading process delayed

Nepal: cement grading process delayed
Published: 09 January 2017

Tagged Under: Nepal cement standards 

Although the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) says it has penned a quality certification draft, the government is yet to begin the grading process for domestic cement brands.

The NBSM has failed to arrange a meeting of its technical committee, which is authorised to give a final shape to the draft. Once the meeting of the technical committee approves the draft, the document will be forwarded to Nepal Standard Council (NSC) for final approval. Bishwo Babu Pudasaini, director general of NBSM, told The Himalayan Times that he will call the meeting within the next two weeks.

The government will provide quality certification for cement under three categories — 33-grade, 43-grade and 53-grade. According to Mr Pudasaini, NBSM has finalised quality parameters for all three grades. Domestic cement brands are currently categorised as Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), and both types of cement are labelled under 33-grade cement.

Current government policy does not allow manufacturers to label their products higher than 33-grade, despite producers claiming that Nepali cement brands meet international quality standards of 43-grade and 53-grade. Manufacturers have said that domestic cement brands are losing out in the market due to such government policy as large development projects need 43-grade and 53-grade cement in their procurement specifications. As a result, large volumes of cement are being imported from India every year.

Dhurba Raj Thapa, president of Cement Manufacturers Association of Nepal, said the quality certification process had been delayed following the inability of the government and private sector to reach a common understanding over which country’s quality parameters needed to be adopted in Nepal to grade domestic cement.