ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan cement manufacturer Tokyo Cement plans to expand production at its new and manufacturing subsidiary to support growing demand in the construction sector amid a sand shortage.
Tokyo Cement entered the sand manufacturing business in 2016 by commissioning a new sand manufacturing plant in Dompe by subsidiary Tokyo Super Aggregate (Pvt) Ltd as part of its backward integration strategy, chairman Harsha Cabral.
“Tokyo Super Aggregate is already supplying some of the sand required for our ready-mix concrete operations,” he told shareholders in the company’s annual report.
“We hope to expand its output in the new financial year to support demand growth.”
The sand plant was set up to produce manufactured sand and aggregates for concrete as natural sand extraction was becoming less of an option given lack of natural sand reserves.
It is a joint venture project with a local partner, Raddella Engineering & Earth Movers (Private) Limited, who has experience and technical know-how for the highly specialized product.
Tokyo Cement Managing Director S R Gnanam said shortages of key raw materials, such as sand and aggregates, put additional pressure on overall industry prices during the year.
“Currently, the western province is in short supply of sand due to restrictions on river sand mining and sand transport licenses,” he said.
“The construction sector is also starved for aggregates due to the port project absorbing most of the immediately available granite rock.”
Gnanam said the new sand manufacturing factory gives the firm access to manufactured sand at a reasonable price for ready mix concrete, despite the shortage of river sand in Colombo.
“As the country is already facing a shortage of sand we hope to increase sand outputs from Tokyo Super Aggregate for our ready-mix plants. This will contribute significantly towards holding down the cost of ready-mix concrete.”
(COLOMBO, July 14, 2017)