KATHMANDU, Sept 15: Hongshi-Shivam Cement Pvt. Ltd., the largest cement factory in the country, started commercial operation in May but its production remains below capacity due to lack of electricity supply and all-weather road access.
Though the government has a policy of providing electricity and all-weather access by road for industrial projects, it has not lived up to this in the case of Hongshi-Shivam.
These limitations along with lack of permission to excavate in forest land have also affected operations at the plant located in Nawalparasi district. The factory's products—Hongshi OPC and Hongshi PPC—are already on the market.
Established with an investment of Rs 36.8 billion, the plant is unable to operate round the clock for want of adequate power and good road access as well as delay in the issuance of quarrying permission, said officials at Investment Board Nepal.
The plant is now running its own diesel generators for electricity supply. It is also relying on a dirt road for raw material supplies and for taking its cement to market.
The plant is reached by a 12 km dirt road from Dumkibas to Sardi and another 28 dirt road from Jyamire to Sardi. Work on a metalled road and several bridges have not yet started while government plans for a 20 km transmission line remain incomplete also.
IBN spokesperson Uttam Bhakta Wagle informed that the plant can produce 6,000 tons (120,000 bags) of cement daily.
Biswanath Goyal, vice-chairman of the Nepal-China joint venture, said, “We will go for repairing the road to the quarries in Jyamire after the monsoon recedes.”
Meanwhile, work on the 20 km transmission line has run into difficulties over acquiring land for erecting the pylons. “The work on the transmission line started some eight months ago but it seems it won't be completed even in the next 16 months,” Goyal said.
Cement is among the 12 high-priority industries under the budget for the current fiscal year.