Economy, Business And Markets

Cellular Lightweight Concrete: Booming Investment Opportunity

Cellular Lightweight Concrete: Booming Investment OpportunityCellular Lightweight Concrete: Booming Investment Opportunity

Over 7 billion square meters of concrete are produced worldwide every year, making this construction material the most abundant and mass-produced manmade material of all time, says Saeedreza Zare, the head of Iranian Cellular Lightweight Concrete Syndicate.

The use of concrete dates back thousands of years to the Romans. The material has changed shapes and applications through time, and cellular lightweight concrete is its latest transmutation.

Cellular lightweight concrete, also known as foamed concrete, is a lightweight and inexpensive construction material with a simple production method that is ideal for a wide range of applications. It is made by adding a special foam to a cement mortar slurry and produced in a variety of densities.

While the product is considered a foam of concrete (with air bubbles replacing aggregate), its high thermal and acoustical insulating qualities make it suitable for very different applications compared to conventional concrete.

The Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz recently published an article on CLC production in Iran and the sector’s investment opportunities.

According to Zare, CLC is used extensively in the construction of dams, roads and buildings in Iran.

“About 1 million square meters of CLC are produced in Iran annually, while domestic demand stands at about 40 million square meters per annum,” he said.

According to Zare, the revitalization of domestic construction sector in the upcoming years is expected to increase demand for CLC and create a lucrative business opportunity for potential investors.

“Iran’s CLC market is devoid of imports and foreign competition,” he added.

In order to establish a CLC production plant, an initial investment of close to $2.8 million is required to purchase a 1,000- to 100,000-square-meter plot of land, depending on the production magnitude, in addition to production machinery.

Zare noted that the machinery required include a ball mill, a mixer, a cutting machine and an autoclave device, all of which, with the exception of the latter, are manufactured domestically and can be easily acquired.

The plant also needs workforce specialized in civil and chemical engineering as well as metallurgy to operate the production process.

CLC is environmentally friendly and earthquake-, fire- and water-resistant. It has a superior thermal insulation and its cost of transportation and storage is minimal.