ISLAMABAD: Lucky Cement Limited, the country’s second largest manufacturer in terms of installed capacity, has formally announced that it will enhance its production capacity by over 31% to 9.68 million tons with an investment of $200 million.
According to a company official, the company will invest over $200 million or around Rs20 billion to set up a fully integrated green field cement plant in Chakwal, Punjab, said Noman Hasan, the executive director.
Lucky Cement earns Rs3.36b
The development is being seen as another positive development for the country’s booming construction sector that has seen major players announce expansion plans in the wake of increased economic activity under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as well as increased GDP growth.
The plant site has been identified near the city of Chakwal, in Buchhal Kalan, Kallar Kahar area of Chakwal district. Bestway Cement has two cement plants in Chakwal having a combined installed capacity of 5.6 million tons a year, while DG Khan Cement also has one plant in the northern district of Punjab.
Currently, Bestway Cement with its total installed capacity of 7.96 million tons per annum is the country’s largest manufacturer - a status that Lucky Cement will grab after completion of its third plant in 2018.
After completion of the new plant, the Lucky Cement’s installed capacity will increase to 9.68 million tons a year.
Construction: Cement sales gain momentum in South zone
Lucky Cement is already operating a production plant in Nooriabad, Super Highway, Karachi and the other in Pezu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The company expects a surge in demand due to increase in construction activities under CPEC. The new plant is expected to meet the rising infrastructural demand in the northern region of the country as well as other construction projects planned in the province.
The total installed cement production capacity is estimated at 45.61 million tons per annum, according to All Pakistan Cement Manufacturer Association (APCMA). It will increase to roughly 48 million tons per annum after completion of Lucky Cement’s third plant.
In fiscal year 2015-16, the country exported 2.44 million tons cement - down from the previous year’s level of 3.6 million tons, according to the APCMA.
Hasan stated that the company was engaged with the government of Punjab for acquisition of land for the project. Similarly, the company is also in the process of finalising a contract with the equipment supplier and all these activities are likely to be completed by the end of 2016. It is expected that the plant will become operational by 2018, he added.
The company claims that its investment in Chakwal will generate almost 4,000 to 5,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities, paving the way for local development in the region.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2016.
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