Trouble for non-fired brick firms

The science and technology ministry, in collaboration with the construction ministry, held a workshop to promote the production and use of non-fired bricks last Friday.

The Prime Minister has issued Decision No1686/QĐ-TTg, approving a project to promote non-fired brick (NFB) production and utilisation in Việt Nam in 2014.

The project aims to help Việt Nam reduce greenhouse gas emissions by gradually cutting down on the use of fossil fuels and good quality soil for making bricks, while increasing the production, sales and utilisation of NFBs.

In the decade following the completion of the project, direct and indirect CO2 emissions will be reduced by an estimated 383,000 tonnes and 13.4 million tonnes, respectively.

Speaking at the workshop about the country’s building materials, Phạm Văn Bắc, deputy director of the department of building materials under the construction ministry, said the demand for construction materials in Việt Nam grew about 8 to 10 per cent annually in the recent years.

The demand for construction materials in the country is estimated to touch 30 to 33 billion bricks by 2020. Non-fired materials will account for 30 to 40 per cent of these bricks.

Launched on May 29 last year, the project approved by the PM has seen initial results, Director of the project Nguyễn Đình Hậu said at the workshop.

The project has completed training documents for the implementation of 15 training courses this year and next year, and has co-operated with financial organisations to build financial mechanisms for lending, he said.

Meanwhile, according to Bắc, many provinces have released instruction and implementation documents on the management of construction materials, resulting in effective management in localities such as HCM City and Đồng Nai.

However, the consumption of NFBs was facing many difficulties such as the lack of awareness among people about NFB benefits; unstable quality and model of the products; high prices; and economic crisis; besides the lack of preferential policies, Bắc said.

Nguyễn Công Bằng, director of the Lưu Xá Cement Factory in Thái Nguyên Province, which started producing non-fired bricks in January this year and has produced six million bricks so far, also spoke about the province’s difficulties in promoting NFBs.

According to the director, the local people still lacked information about NFBs and their socio-economic and environmental benefits, which limited the consumption of NFBs.

The director said unhealthy competition from low-quality and cheap products, which was hard to control, also affected the makers of genuine products.

The factory director said as NFBs were still new in Việt Nam, supporting policies from the state were needed, particularly regarding investment loans for business operations and tax preferential policies for NFB consumption.

He asked for more vigorous measures for the removal of the traditional fired bricks.

In addition, the director emphasised the importance of boosting communication and education about the benefits of NFBs in the future.

Viet Nam News