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Friday, June 15, 2007

Concrete Answer to Limestone Challenges

Total demand of cement in Bangladesh is 8 million tons per year, the country's GDP is growing at a rate between 6-7% per year. So demand for cement is set to grow constantly. Sensing the bright prospects in a overly populated developing country like ours, Lafarge Surma Cement has set its guns to right targets. It has the only integrated dry process cement plant which produces its own clinker of high international quality in Bangladesh. All other major cement producers in Bangladesh are grinding mills that depend entirely on import of clinker. Import of clinker is not only expensive due to high freight cost, duties, handling/rehandling, charges etc. sourcing of clinker for uniform quality and uninterrupted supply is also a big challenge. With an initial production capacity of 1.5 million tons Lafarge Surma is the only clinker producer using energy-efficient dry process in Bangladesh.

So much so for Lafarge Surma, but how is it going to deal with the Indian decision to stop sourcing limestone from Meghalayan mountains? The company has a 17km long conveyor belt which carries limestone generated in Meghalaya to its plants in Bangladeshi territory. This recent move is no wonder a challenge for Lafarge Surma to keep its competitive position strong in the market. We are witnessing how it deals the blow, gives a 'concrete' answer to challenges, keeps shareholders happy and continue developing...both buildings, infrastructure and economy.

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