Sri Lanka serious about manufactured sand
May, 09 2007
Sri Lanka construction industry seeks cheaper alternative to river sand
(Sri Lanka) – Sri Lanka's construction industry is seeking to popularize alternatives to expensive river sand to reduce costs in the construction industry, a senior official said.
It wants to use a trade fair being held this week to promote manufactured sand using a rock crushing process as a cheaper alternative to scarce river sand, said Dakshitha Thalgodapitiya, CEO/ Secretary General of the Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI).
"Escalating construction costs are a major growth impediment for the construction sector," he told a news conference Monday.
"We're looking at how to control costs and we identified the high cost of river sand as the main cause of the high cost. We identified manufactured sand as a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to river sand."
The CCI, the industry's apex body, wants to use its annual trade fair Excon 2007, being held during May 11-13, as forum to promote manufactured sand.
Thalgodapitiya said manufactured sand is cheaper than river sand.
It can be sold to the consumer for 4,000 rupees a cube compared with river sand which costs 6-7,000 rupees a cube.
He described manufactured sand as a value-added form of quarry product.
Altaf Halil, country manager of Metso Minerals, a manufacturer of rock crushing machinery, said manufactured sand, although new to the island, is used elsewhere for construction.
The bonding ability of manufactured sand was very high, enabling less use of cement, while achieving high strength, he said.
The use of manufactured sand will also reduce environmental damage caused by illegal mining of rivers for sand for building purposes.
The government has banned river sand mining in certain areas because of the environmental damage it has caused.
A new product, a low-cost cement from the local unit of Holcim, will also be launched at the trade fair on May 12.
This could be used to build single and two-storey homes and is designed to reduce construction costs, Thalgodapitiya said.
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