Pakistan: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has cleared four development projects worth US$528m that are likely to lead to increased cement demand. This includes the Coal Rail Connectivity Project to connect significant coal reserves in the Thar Coal Mines with the existing rail network, including last mile connectivity to the Port of Qasim, according to the Nation newspaper. The project, part of the government’s Pakistan Vision 2025 policy, has been designed to provide reliable and efficient railway infrastructure to ‘break the geographical barriers’ of accessing domestic coal for industrial use, including cement production, which is currently reliant on more expensive imported fuels.
Separately, funding has been approved for a road project to connect the N50 and N70 national highways, to serve as the main route to connect the Central Cities of Northern Balochistan to Southern Punjab. This is expected to raise cement demand in these areas.