Nepal: clinker imports in high demand

Nepal: clinker imports in high demand
20 December 2016

Nepal's import of clinker rocketed by 674 per cent in the first four months of this fiscal as domestic grinding and cement plants tried to meet demand, reports the Himalayan Times.

The country imported clinker worth INR6.58bn (US$96.8m) in the first four months of this fiscal against INR850m (US$12.5m) in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, according to Trade and Export Promotion Centre.

Cement factories have boomed in the country due to the government’s policy intervention to facilitate investors. The government has been offering access road to the factories and mines and ensured electricity grid connection to the factories. There are 48 cement factories in the country with their total production hovering around 4.2Mta. The average capacity utilisation of the cement plants stands at around 70 per cent.

"Cement plants are operating below capacity due to lack of market and also lack of raw materials because even the cement factories that have their own clinker production facility are importing clinker from India," according to Dhruba Raj Thapa, president of Cement Manufacturers Association of Nepal (CMAN).

Of the total 48 cement factories in operation, 14 run clinker production plants. Almost all the cement plants that have submitted applications to operate their own mines but have been compelled to import clinker from India.

According to the CMAN, the country could be self-reliant on clinker within two years. “There are abundant possibilities of mining of limestone within the country if the government adopted flexible policies," said Thapa.

The country has been importing 70 per cent of the demand of clinker, which stands at around 4Mta. According to Cement Manufacturers Association of Nepal, clinker import might further rise this fiscal as cement plants have been operating their plants at higher capacity to elevate production eyeing the demand along with accelerated post-quake reconstruction drive.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Nepal clinker imports