CMSB plans to build new cement plant
Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMSB), a Malaysian conglomerate, plans to invest some RM150 million to build a third cement plant to meet rising demand in Sarawak.
The new facility with an annual production capacity of 600,000 to 700,000 tonnes would be built in the same locality as the group's clinker plant in Mambong, near Kuching, CMSB Group Managing Director, Datuk Richard Curtis said after a briefing by Othman Abdul Rani, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of CMS Cement Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CMSB in Kuching yesterday.
He said the group would decide on the proposed project in the next three months, noting that the two cement plants under CMS, the state’s only cement manufacturer, are operating near to their combined installed capacity of 1.75 million tonnes a year.
The first plant with a production capacity of one million tonnes was set up in 1978 at the Pending Industrial Estate, to meet the needs in Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman and Sibu.
Twenty years later, a second plant with a production capacity of 750,000 tonnes was built to meet the requirements in Sarawak’s north-eastern region.
Presently, CMS, which makes portland and masonry cement, churns out 5,500 tonnes a day against the average daily demand of 5,300 tonnes a day.
He said over the last two years, the demand in Sarawak rose some 9% to 10%, attributing it to the construction of Murum hydro dam in Kapit and Bengoh dam in the state while the building of concrete bridges have also push up demand for cement.
Another major dam in the pipeline in Baram is also expected to lead to higher demand for cement over the next few years. Other new demands for cement are expected to come from the development of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), Samalaju Industrial Park and other infrastructure projects, he said.
On the proposal to have another clinker plant to reduce the import of the material for cement production, he said CMSB would reconsider the proposal brought up some three years ago.
Some RM700 million would be required to build a new clinker production line, Othman said.
Meanwhile, the existing clinker plant will expand its production capacity to 896,000 tonnes a year when a RM78 million upgrading work is completed and commissioned in the next few weeks.
As the clinker requirement is about 1.6 million tonnes a year, CMS would need to import the balance from countries such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand to meet the needs, Othman added.
Adapted from StarBiz 4 Aug 2012 and CMSB website
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