CPEC triggers massive expansion in cement industry
by Khalid Aziz
ISLAMABAD, June 25 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan’s leading cement manufacturer Cherat Cement Co. will nearly double its production capacity in 3 years with an estimated investment of Rs 34 billion, the company said in a disclosure to Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday.
The company said that it had already purchased land and a mining lease from another party (Saif Group, according to industry sources) for Rs1.3 billion in D.I. Khan district of KP province. The plant will be established in 3 years and will have a production capacity of 11,000 tonnes of clinker per day, it said.
Fayaz, an executive of Cherat Cement, told Gwadar Pro that the company had two cement plants in working condition at its existing facility in Noshehra district of KP with a combined production capacity of 12,000 tonnes of clinker per day. The company is also working on the fast track to revive its first plant of 3,500 tonnes per day capacity, which it had earlier dumped due to higher production cost, he said.
Fayaz said that CPEC had increased the demand to a level that the Cherat Cement company recorded the highest ever dispatch of 21,000 tonnes of cement per day during the previous month, which triggered the company to expand its facility to more than double its existing capacity.
He revealed that the company’s financial position had strengthened due to the increased demand and it had announced double bonuses for its employees for the current year.
On the other hand, Hamid Ali, a plant supervisor at Bestway Cement Co.’s facility at Haripur district of KP, disclosed that on June 22, the company kicked off construction works to install another plant in the Paikhel area of Mianwali district of Punjab, having a capacity of producing 7,200 tonnes of clinker per day. The plant installation will take 1.5 years, he said.
The company’s existing plant at Haripur has a capacity of 4,000 tonnes of clinker per day.
“This expansion has been clearly triggered by CPEC projects; otherwise our existing capacity of producing 60,000 bags of cement per day was more than enough for domestic demand,” he said.
Both new plants are being established on opposite sides along the tail-end of the CPEC’s nearly-completed M-14 motorway. The plants will be best located to serve the demand arising from CPEC projects along the Western Corridor in KP, Punjab and Balochistan provinces.
Similarly, Kohat Cement Co., has also hired administrative staff for its proposed plant in the Khoshab district of Punjab, not far from CPEC’s Hakla-D.I. Khan (M-14) motorway. Fauji Cement has also hired staff for its legal department with an intention to expand its capacity, an industry source revealed. The source said that the ongoing expansion in the cement industry could create as many as 25,000 direct jobs in 3-5 years.