Hetauda Cement opens after maintenance

A team of 35 technicians from India disassembled the cement plant and repaired ‘grate cooler and kiln’—two key components of the plant—taking 36 days

Sep 17, 2017-The state-owned Hetauda Cement Factory resumed operations from Friday after being closed for more than a month for maintenance. The management closed the factory for 36 days so that maintenance work could be carried out without any disturbances.

“We have already given continuity to cement production after completing repair and maintenance works,” said Prem Shankar Singh, general manager of Hetauda Cement. “This maintenance will increase the production capacity of the factory.” 

In a bid to improve capacity, the management decided to shut the factory down and start repair works by bringing a team of technicians from India. A team of 35 technicians from India disassembled the cement plant and repaired ‘grate cooler and kiln’—two key components of the plant—taking 36 days. 

“These components were assembled more than 30 years ago and were never repaired until recently,” said Singh. “After the maintenance, the production capacity of our factory is expected rise by 10 to 15 percent.”      

Maintenance and repair works cost the cement plant Rs20 million. But Raghu Raman Neupane, chairman of the operating committee of the factory said it was worth the expense. “The maintenance was done with the aim of increasing production capacity. We serviced equipments that have not been looked after installation,” said Neupane.

Before undergoing maintenance, the factory was producing cement at up to 64 percent of the installed capacity and the production was 63 percent during the last fiscal year. The factory is planning to increase the production capacity to more than 70 percent of the installed capacity, according to Singh. Last fiscal year, the factory produced 138,000 tonnes of clinker although the target was to produce 150,000 tonnes.

Similarly, the factory produced 2.76 million bags of cement instead of the target of 3.1 million bags in the last fiscal year. 

This year, the state-owned factory plans to produce 180,000 tonnes of clinker and 3.7 million bags of cement in the current fiscal year which will end in July 2018. 

The operational cost of the factory established three decades ago is very high. It pays Rs 30 million for electricity each month. More than 221 kilowatts of power is required to produce a tonne of cement at the factory. In contrast, private factories are using 95-100 kilowatts of electricity to produce the same amount of cement. 

The factory management and the board have been making efforts to reduce the cost of production. According to officials, the factory has been facing problems in cutting down production cost after the government announced 25 percent hike in employees’ salary last fiscal year. The factory currently employs around 395 people. 

Published: 17-09-2017 09:48

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