|Unbaked building materials on display on the sidelines of the “Developing new and eco-friendly building material market” seminar in HCM City on December 26. — VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — The building materials industry has grown at 8-12 per cent in the past three years and is expected to maintain good growth next year, a seminar heard in HCM City on Wednesday.
Phạm Văn Bắc, head of the Ministry of Construction’s construction materials department, said this year most construction materials manufacturers operated at full capacity.
Demand for their products was very high, including overseas, with exports accounting for 30 per cent of total sales of certain materials.
Phạm Thiết Hòa, director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City (ITPC), said: “The construction materials industry has made remarkable progress both in terms of quality and quantity. Việt Nam, from being a country that had to import most construction materials, has become an exporter of some key items.”
He quoted figures from the General Department of Việt Nam Customs that show the country exported US$1.67 billion worth of materials to 120 countries and territories last year.
Increasing urbanisation and a building boom are set to boost domestic demand in the coming years, he said.
Bắc said construction materials producers have increasingly adopted advanced technologies and focused on unbaked building materials to replace burnt-clay products in response to Government policies.
The Government has issued legal documents on researching, producing and using unburnt construction materials to boost the use of environment-friendly building materials, he said.
By 2020, it hopes unbaked construction materials would account for 40-50 per cent of the materials used, he said.
Unburnt bricks are made from coal ash discharged by thermal power plants, cement and some other materials, he said, adding that the country’s annual capacity is seven billion this year, rising to 12.5 billion in 2020.
Trần Bá Việt, vice chairman and general secretary of the Việt Nam Concrete Association, said: “Demand for construction materials is very high in Việt Nam because our country is in the development phase.”
Annual demand from the construction sector is 20 billion bricks, expected to rise to 42 billion by 2020, but to produce one billion burnt bricks requires 1.5 million cubic metres of clay, he said.
Thus, without a move towards non-fired bricks, the environment would face severe consequences, he said.
Việt Nam is still at the starting phase of using unbaked building materials, and authorities should compile a handbook on choosing suitable products and using them in the proper way, he said.
Bắc said his ministry is working to complete and issue technical standards and production norms for non-fired bricks.
Hòa said the ITPC would promote consumption of new and environment-friendly building materials.
The seminar on “Developing new and eco-friendly building material market” was organised by the ITPC in collaboration with the city Department of Construction and the management board of the project on “Enhancing the production and use of unbaked bricks in Việt Nam” by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The seminar also featured an exhibition on technology used in making unbaked construction materials and new and environment-friendly construction materials. — VNS