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 (Photo: VNA)

 

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - The building materials industry has grown at 8-12 percent in the past three years and is expected to maintain good growth next year, a seminar heard in HCM City on December 26.

Pham Van Bac, 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 percent of total sales of certain materials.

Pham Thiet Hoa, 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. Vietnam, 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 Vietnam Customs that show the country exported 1.67 billion USD 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.

Bac 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 percent 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.

Tran Ba Viet, vice chairman and general secretary of the Vietnam Concrete Association, said: “Demand for construction materials is very high in Vietnam 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.

Vietnam 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.

Bac said his ministry is working to complete and issue technical standards and production norms for non-fired bricks.

Hoa 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 Vietnam” 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/VNA