The Government has approved the Ministry of Construction's proposal to increase the capacity of two cement projects in northern Ha Nam and central Nghe An provinces.

Thanh Liem Cement Factory in northern Ha Nam province's Bong Lang commune will be upgraded with one more production line with the annual capacity of 2.3 million tonnes. The second line is expected to open in 2018.

Currently, the factory has only one production line with the capacity of 450,000 tonnes.

Song Lam Cement Project, located in central Nghe An Province's Bai Son commune, will also be upgraded with the capacity of 4 million tonnes.

Construction on the factory began last week with investment capital of 10.5 trillion VND (493.5 million USD). Three production lines will be built by 2020. The first two are scheduled to be put into operation in 2017.

Nguyen Quang Bay, director of Thanh Liem Cement Factory, said that it was necessary to increase the capacity of the factory in order to fully exploit limestone resources in the province.

The Prime Minister assigned the Construction Ministry to work with relevant ministries and sectors to use domestic building materials and workers for these projects.

He also asked the ministry to re-examine cement factory projects in the 2011-20 period and forecast market demand, then report it to the Government later this year.

Cement consumption reached 5.87 million tonnes in the first month of 2015, an increase of 30 percent compared to the same period of last year, according to the Construction Ministry's Building Material Department.

Domestic cement production currently meets demand, according to the department. The country currently has 74 cement production lines with output of 77 million tonnes per year.

The Vietnam Cement Association predicts that cement exports this year could earn as much as 1 billion USD via the export of 20-21 million tonnes of cement and clinker, a 15 percent increase in value year-on-year.-VNA