Nepal Bureau of Standards to provide grading certification for cementThere are 61 cement factories in Nepal with a combined production capacity of 15 million tonnes annually.
The Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology will provide grading certification for all cement produced in Nepal from November.
Currently, there is no grading system for the product in Nepal, and factories are using quality parameters set by India. Once the grading system is implemented, Nepali cement will be classified into 33, 43 and 53 grades on a par with international standards.
The bureau said that the new rule had been approved by the Nepal Council for Standards and would be enforced from November 17.
Sanjeev Kumar Thakur, director of the bureau, said that the draft of the policy would be tabled at the Cabinet for approval soon. “After its approval, it will be published in the Nepal Gazette.”
According to Manoj Upadhyay, director of the bureau's Physical Standard Formulation Section, cement factories have started applying for the new standard.
Most cement factories in Nepal produce cement of 33 grade. Cement is categorised into grades according to its strength, Upadhyay said.
He said that 33 grade cement is used for construction of homes and other small construction projects. Similarly, 43 grade cement is used as required by engineers according to its capacity while 53 grade cement is used for the construction of mega infrastructure. “It took three years to prepare the grading standard for Nepal,” he said.
Following the publication of the new rules, manufacturers can assure the quality of their cement, and offer to supply it to large construction projects.
Normally, Nepali cement is not preferred for large construction projects like hydropower schemes and airports due to quality issues, and builders import their requirements from India.
Under the new rule, along with the standard, cement factories have to state the date of manufacture clearly on the packaging. Upadhyay said that cement can be used for three months from the date of manufacture.
Manufacturers print the batch number on the cement bag, but it usually becomes illegible due to handling which creates confusion, he said.
Upadhyay also said that the court had directed the bureau to make it mandatory for factories to pack the cement in laminated bags two months ago.
The bureau has issued a circular instructing manufacturers to do so, but none of them has followed the directive so far. This may be because the cement was packaged before they received the circular, and it will take time before the new laminated bags are used, he said.
According to the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nepal, there are around 61 cement factories operating in the country with a combined production capacity of 15 million tonnes annually.
Nepal has become self-reliant in cement production as construction activities have been increasing. New cement factories are being established to meet the country’s growing demand.