In Rupandehi, big money pours into cement industry
Rupandehi in western Nepal has become the hottest area for cement manufacturing and investors have been pouring in billions of rupees as demand for cement continues to soar.
Lumbini Corridor and Dhakdhai of Rupandehi district now houses 12 cement factories—Arghakhachhi, Jagadamba, Siddhartha, Brij, Agni, Reliance, Goyanka, Supreme, Ambuja, Pathak and Bishal, among others.
These factories are churning out more than 100,000 tonnes of cement per day, accounting for about 40 percent of the country’s total cement production, according to the Department of Industry.
Arghakhachhi and Reliance cement factories produce clinker, a key raw material for cement production, on their own. Jagadamba and Brij cement factories are two of the country’s largest cement producers.
“Rupandehi has been attracting investors in cement factories as it’s easy to get raw materials for cement production,” said Rishi Pokhrel, managing director of Agni Cement. “It’s also because of the close proximity with India from where it is convenient to import coals and clinkers.”
According to him, availability of limestone quarries in the surrounding areas has also attracted cement factories. “All these factors contribute to less transportation costs and as a result, the cost of production is relatively low as compared to other areas.”
As the demand for cement continues to surge due to government’s heavy investment in roads and other infrastructure, the established factories are also increasing their production capacity.
Jagadamba is aggressively expanding its production capacity. The company, which has a production unit in Lumbini Corridor, is setting up another production plant in the eastern part of Bhairahawa. The new plant, according to the company, will produce 1,500 tonnes of cement per day. “Initially, we had planned to increase the capacity of our existing factory in Lumbini corridor, but due to unavailability of land and environment, we decided to set up another production plant in the eastern part of Bhairahawa,” said BidurDhungana, managing director of Jagadamba Cement.
Currently, Jagadamba has been producing 2,200 tonnes of cements daily. The company has invested Rs3 billion in its existing cement production unit in Lumbini Corridor and has planned another Rs3 billion investment for its new facility.
Arghakhachhi Cement is also making a fresh investment of Rs5 billion to build a new plant to produce clinker. The company, which has already injected Rs3 billion in its existing clinker plant, will launch the new clinker plant within three months.