Huaxin Cement Narayani Pvt. Ltd, a China-Nepal joint venture, is preparing to start producing cement after completing the project in the central Dhading district of Nepal, a representative of the Nepali partner said Sunday.
“We’ve completed the construction facilities of the factory and installed machinery,” Suraj Vaidya from Vaidya’s Organization of Industries & Trading Houses (VOITH), a leading business group in Nepal, told Xinhua.
“We plan to start production in the next two months,” Vaidya added.
It is the second Chinese-invested cement factory in Nepal after Hongshi-Shivam Cement Pvt. Ltd.
The new cement plant set up by the Huaxin Cement Narayani Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture of Huaxin Central Asia Investment (Wuhan) Co., Ltd. and the VOITH, has a production capacity of 3,000 tons per day, while Hongshi-Shivam is the largest with a daily production capacity of 6,000 tons.
Huaxin Cement was registered with Nepal’s Department of Industry in 2017, but the construction of the factory, which began in March 2019, was delayed by floods, disputes over land acquisition and the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Vaidya, former president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the factory has now entered the production phase after damaged infrastructure and machineries were repaired and maintained, and the remaining works of construction completed.
According to a recent study by Nepal’s central bank, 55 cement factories currently operating in the South Asian country are producing 7.49 million tons of cement against a domestic demand for 9.05 million tons per year, though they have a combined production capacity of 15 million tons per year.
Vaidya is confident that the new factory would be able to compete in the market. “There is still a lot of room for growth for the cement industry in Nepal,” he said.
“Several major infrastructure projects, which have high a demand for cement, have been planned in the country,” he said, adding that several hydropower projects are under construction and they also need cement.
The central bank study also projected that cement demand in Nepal would reach 25.88 million tons by mid-July 2025.
Nepal has been moving toward self-sufficiency in cement production in recent years.
In the 2020-21 fiscal year that ended in mid-July, the country imported cement worth 560 million Nepali rupees (4.73 million U.S. dollars) and cement clinkers, raw materials for cement production, worth 3.6 billion Nepali rupees (30.5 million dollars), a sharp drop from 1.31 billion rupees (11 million dollars) and 11.67 billion rupees (98.79 million dollars), respectively, from the 2018-19 fiscal year, according to the Trade and Export Promotion Center under the Commerce Ministry.
The operation of large cement manufacturers like Hongshi-Shivam, which is also supplying clinkers to a large number of cement producers in Nepal, “has been helping significantly in closing the gap between domestic demand and the production of cement in the country,” said the central bank study.