Applauding Chinese-built Hongshi-Shivam Cement Private Limited in Nepal, the head of the plant's electrical team explained that working in the plant has dramatically alleviated the pressures of life, and more importantly, the brand new equipment in the plant provides an opportunity to learn advanced technologies.
Hongshi-Shivam Cement Private Limited, a joint venture of China's Hongshi Cement and Nepal's Shivam Group, has employed over 400 local workers like him. He disclosed that if peak construction employment and indirect employment are also considered, the company has created jobs for over 10,000 local people.
With a total investment of $350 million, Hongshi-Shivam Cement represents Nepal's first modern cement plant and the most substantial foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nepal so far. While the factory produces cement in a low-carbon, safe, and environmentally-friendly way, it dramatically boosts economic and social development in the local area, contributing to the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Located in Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi District of Nepal, covering an area of 66.7 hectares, Hongshi-Shivam Cement, with a production line that produces 6,000 tonnes of clinker cement per day and a waste heat power generation system with a capacity of 12 megawatts (MW), was built in just 16 months, completed in May 2018.
"In just two years, Chinese friends materialized the things that used to be impossible for us and brought great changes here," said Gaurav Goel, deputy general manager of Hongshi-Shivam Cement, expressing that Chinese investment has changed the small village where the plant is located into a prosperous area.
The cement produced with Chinese technologies is of high quality and very well received in the local market, said the distributor. He noted that his clients are striving to use cement produced with Chinese technologies, and that his company has taken up about 60 percent of the market share of Nawalparasi District because of the cement produced by Hongshi-Shivam Cement.
Tests from multiple Nepali institutes showed that various quality indexes of the Hongshi-Shivam Cement came out on top, among which the strength of the product is more than twice that of the Nepali standard, so the cement has quickly gained popularity. Now the company supplies clinker cement to over 80 percent of cement producing companies in Nepal, according to a credible source.
With an annual clinker cement output of about 2 million tonnes, the equivalent of one-fourth of the total clinker cement output in Nepal, Hongshi-Shivam Cement has adequately filled the gap in Nepal's cement market, saving Nepal $200 million in foreign exchange.
"With the efforts of Hongshi-Shivam Cement, cement in Nepal is changing from luxury into consumer goods", said Liu Shuguang, regional general manager of Hongshi Cement's Nepal division, disclosing that Nepali government fully recognizes Hongshi-Shivam Cement's contribution to Nepal's economic and social development, granting the project several awards including "honorable project of Chinese investment" and "best FDI project."
While inspecting Hongshi-Shivam Cement at the end of 2018, Nepali Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada said he appreciates the company's cross-border development idea, its level of environmental protection in technologies, and the construction speed.
The project significantly improved Nepal's overall level of cement manufacturing, and now provides high-quality cement for Nepal's infrastructure construction. It has become a new "engine" of Nepal's economic development and is serving as a demonstration in the country, said Khatiwada.