Nepal: A report by the Nepal Rastra Bank has estimated that Nepal will require 26Mt/yr of cement by the 2024 – 25 financial year due to large-scale infrastructure projects. However, current production before the coronavirus pandemic was around 7.5Mt/yr despite the country’s production capacity of 15Mt/yr, according to the Kathmandu Post newspaper. Domestic consumption is 9Mt with around 1.5Mt of demand supplied from imports, mainly from India. The report added that most of the large projects in Nepal used cement imported from India due to issues with certification, consistent quality and the inability of local producers to offer bulk supply. In 2019 the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies forecast that the country’s cement production capacity could increase to 20Mt/yr by the end of the 2023 – 24 year.
Dhruba Raj Thapa, president of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nepal, said that the data in the report by the bank contained errors. He pointed out that the country has a cement production capacity of 22Mt/yr and that it is already self-sufficient in the commodity. He also refuted the claims that infrastructure projects prefer imported cement.