QNCC chief rules out cement price hike


Updated Mon, 09 May 2011 00:00:00 GMT

Qatar's largest cement producer has ruled out the possibility of an increase in cement prices and said steps were being taken to ensure that the prices of this key basic building material remain stable in the country.

The Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC) said that if the requirement of cement increases substantially in the country due to the launch of mega projects for the 2022 event, it could expand its production capacity vastly or even float a new company.

"Our focus is on meeting local demand. We have no intentions or plans to export cement," said Mohamed Al Sulaiti, general manager of the QNCC, Al Sharq reported yesterday.

Al Sulaiti said that the company was taking effective steps to make sure that cement prices do not shoot up due to the demand going up because of the launch of mega projects.

Cement plants the world over which are oil-fired have raised their rates because of the rising prices of crude in the international markets, said the GM of the QNCC.

"But our company is determined to keep the prices stable. This is our priority. We are not going to increase the prices of cement at least in the foreseeable future," he said.

The production of the company is currently 16,000 tons per day and if the production of Al Khaleej Holding is also counted, the total production of cement in the country works out to 22,000 tonnes per day.

"This means that both the companies are together quite capable of meeting the local demand for cement," said Al Sulaiti. "We are ready to keep pace with the growing demand for cement. The company is waiting to assess the actual demand for cement and that we would know only by the second half of this year because those in need of bulk cement would contact us for supplies," he said. Over the next four years if the demand for cement grows up massively in the country there is a possibility that the QNCC would launch a new venture to produce cement or can expand its existing capacity, said the QNCC general manager.

Al Sulaiti, however, clarified that first it would be made sure that the company is able to meet the increasing demand by expanding its capacity and only then would it be decided to launch a new arm.

"Whatever the scenario, our company's main focus is on making sure that the demand for cement in the country is somehow met" said Al Sulaiti, hinting that the company would make all efforts to ensure that there is no shortage of this raw material in the country during the era of boom as a slew of mega infrastructure projects worth tens of billions of dollars are to be launched for the 2022 event.