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Ministries criticized for licensing too many cement projects   2009-03-27 - VietNamNet/Dan tri

In the last while, state management agencies proved to be too easy-going in licensing cement projects. According to the Vietnam Cement Association, too many small scale cement plants will not benefit the cement industry in long term.


Tran Van Huynh, Chairman of the Vietnam Construction Material Association, said that the Government should only accept modern cement plants, and that it should set strict requirements on cement projects instead of licensing massive cement projects as seen currently.


Vietnam has put ten cement plants into operation and it expects to complete 18 cement projects by 2009. What would you say about the number of cement projects?


I think that there are too many cement projects. To date, the operational cement projects can put out some 60 million tons of cement every year.


However, as most of cement plants are located in the north, there exists the imbalance in the markets of the country.


However, it is understandable why cement projects are always located in the north: cement production has a close link with the limestone material area. Cement is being produced and then carried to the south to be provided to the southern market...


It is not so easy to carry cement from the north to the south. The south consumes 40% of the total cement of the country, while the cement plants in the city just churn out 10%.


We have many times asked state management agencies not to license more cement projects. The areas like Ha Nam and Ninh Binh, for example, have too many cement plants; there are three cement plants in one hamlet. Meanwhile, we well understand that the areas do not have good sea shipment conditions to carry cement to the southern market.


Besides, another risks existing is that the limestone supply, the main material for making cement, will be lacking due to too many cement plants.


I know that there are many cement projects which have licenses, but the plants have not been built due to the lack of capital. I think the investors of the projects should cancel projects before it is too late.


Experts have warned that the cement output will be abundant in Vietnam by 2011. What would you say about that?


In the last while, we have been very easy going in licensing cement projects. Too many small scale cement projects have been ran by private investors, which only bring low efficiency.


I strongly recommend that the Government needs to stop licensing small scale cement plants, while only accepting modern cement projects. The cement plants should be located only in the places where there are favourble conditions for carrying cement to the south.


I think that it is really a reasonable policy to ask to build concrete roads for rural transport, since this is really a reasonable policy to stimulate the demand. If so, we don’t have to spend foreign currencies to import materials for building roads as we currently have to, while we will be able to stimulate the domestic cement market. This will help lift our worry about the cement excess.


Do you think that stimulating the domestic cement market is enough?


When the domestic market can be fully fed, enterprises automatically have to think of exporting products. Most recently, a Vietnamese enterprise, the Cam Pha Cement Joint Stock Company, exported a big volume of cement to Africa.


It is really the goods news for Vietnamese cement producers. However, in order to obtain export contracts, domestic cement plants have to meet the very strict requirements in the production line and environment protection.


As we have many plants that can meet the requirements, we can absolutely think of exporting cement.

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