Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) on Saturday said they will soon re-issue a tender for the construction of the Jabal Saraj cement factory.
MoMP officials said the cement plant project had been put out to tender in the past and that an Afghan company had looked set to win the contract. However, the High Economic Council hasdecided to reissue the tender in order to find a more qualified company.
According to MoMP officials, once built, the factory should be able to produce up to one million tons of cement a year and that the winning company should be able to invest up to $170 million USD in the factory.
“This project will be put out to tender soon and we are ready to identify the most eligible companies,” MoMP spokesman Abdul Qadeer Mutfi said.
According to the ministry, Afghanistan is one of the biggest cement importers among the countries in the region.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) officials meanwhile said the Afghan government has in the last 17 years been unable to establish large enough cement factories in the country to meet domestic needs.
Khan Jan Alokozay, ACCI deputy head, said if government establishes factories that can produce enough cement for the domestic market, Afghanistan will save up to $500 million USD a year.
“We support the activities of the current government in working in this regard. If this project gets implemented, it will benefit us a lot,” said Alokozay.
Ministry of Commerce and Industries statistics show that Afghanistan imports around 10,000 tons of cement from Tajikistan, Iran and Pakistan in a day, while the four cement factories in the country produce less than 1,000 tons of cement daily.