April, 16 2014 09:09:01

Unbaked brick makers face slow sales

A worker moves bricks to storing areas at a cement brick production enterprise in Ha Noi. Makers of bricks made of cement and industrial waste are finding it difficult to gain market access in Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Bui Tuong

HA NOI (VNS) — Makers of bricks made of cement and industrial waste are finding it difficult to gain market access in Viet Nam, despite the environmental benefits and encouragement from the Government.

Four years ago, the Government launched a programme to use more unbaked bricks. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the Ministry of Construction adopted guidelines about their use.

Made from industrial waste, such as ash and cinders from thermal power stations and red mud from bauxite factories, unbaked bricks help save natural resources, especially clay and coal. They also reduce the cost of treating industrial waste.

Viet Nam now has 12 plants making concrete bricks, 30 plants making foam concrete bricks and more than 100 making pure concrete bricks. Yearly productivity is more than six billion.

The use of unbaked bricks in construction works accounts for about 27 per cent of total building materials.

Vice president of the Viet Nam Association for Construction Materials, Nguyen Quang Cung, said that the rate of unbaked brick use would be higher, but for the slowdown in the real-estate market.

There are few guidelines to promote the use of unbaked bricks, including creating public awareness and adopting technical standards that all builders are aware of.

Head of the Construction Materials Management Department under the Construction Ministry, Le Van Toi, said that State-funded buildings were actually required to use only unbaked bricks.

However, few buildings met the requirement because of loose regulations. He urged closer supervision of agencies to ensure more unbaked bricks were used in State constructions.

General director of HCM City-based An Thai Buiding Materials Joint Stocks Company, Nguyen Thi Sy, said that the company had capacity to produce 200 million clay bricks but sold only 20 million.

This was because people were not used to using the new style bricks and because of the downturn in the construction sector in Viet Nam.

Sluggish production and consumption created problems for producers in paying interest on bank loans and retaining competent staff, he said.

Director of Minh Khang Bricks Joint Stocks Company, Le Hoai An, said that unbaked brick producers needed to combine to meet consumers' requirements.

An said that producers must first register the trade mark and quality of their products and then provide qualified products to gain consumers' trust. — VNS

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