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Pakistan cement demand continues to boom

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World Cement,

Capacity utilisation in the Pakistani cement sector reached 90.88% in December 2016, according to data from All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, as cement demand grew in the country.

Domestic shipments of cement grew 6.74% in December to 3.186 million t, while overall cement shipments including exports grew 3.33% to 3.555 million. For the six months to the end of the 2016, cement shipments totalled 19.896 million t on the back of growth in local demand of 11.07%.

In the half year to December 2016, the north of the country consumed 13.930 million t of cement, an increase of 10.13% on the year before, while the south accounted for only 2.964 million t of demand. Southern demand grew more rapidly, however, jumping 15.71% on the previous year.

Under current growth trends, domestic capacity will be unable to meet local demands within the next two years. Pakistan’s current cement production capacity stands at 46 million t – but there is a plenty of capacity under construction.

According to a report in The Nation, quoting industry circles, the country’s cement production capacity could increase to 72 million t over the next two year.

In January, Danish engineering company, FLSmidth announced that it has secured an order for a new cement production line from Maple Leaf Cement. The new plant will have production capacity of 7300 tpd and will be located in Iskanderabad in the north of the country, where the majority of Pakistan’s cement demand is located. Its expected to be operational in 2018.

“Pakistan is one of the markets with the highest activity at the moment in the cement industry,” Per Mejnert Kristensen, President of FLSmidth's Cement Division, told World Cement. “The order for a complete production line to Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd, which FLSmidth received in mid-January underlines this. FLSmidth is the preferred supplier of complete production lines to the Pakistani cement industry and we are therefore very happy to see further opportunities for growth in the area.”

Local news also reported that FLSmidth had been awarded a contract by Power Cement Ltd, an affiliate of Arif Habib Group, to build a new 2.47 million tpy plant in Nooribabad, close to the country’s capital, Karachi, although no official confirmation of the order has been released by the Danish engineering company.

Meanwhile, in early February, UK-based company, Asian Precious Minerals, announced a US$400 million investment to construct a new cement plant in the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

**First published 2 February 2017. Update adds comment from Per Mejnert Kristensen.

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