13 August 2013
Lafarge’s R&D Lab On Better Building Solutions To Open By Year-End
Cement manufacturer, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd plans to set up a construction development laboratory by year-end to produce better building solutions, in tandem with the growing local population.aid
The company estimated that Malaysia's population will hit 35 million by 2020 and 70% of them are expected to be concentrated in urban areas.
President and chief executive officer Bradley Mulroney said the lab will focus on research and develop products and solutions that Malaysia needed for the construction industry.
"With most population dominating the urban areas and cost of living tremendously high, we do not want the people, especially the younger generation, to look for low-cost houses," he told Bernama.
Mulroney said Malaysia faced its biggest challenge in offering affordable prices for housing units, especially in the urban areas.
He said most of the units were currently sold at high prices, adding some developers even took advantage to construct buildings using cheap products and this Lafarge will not condone.
As one of the key industry players, the company wanted to come up with solutions that could help reduce the cost of construction and at the same time emphasis on quality home.
"It is part of the lab's specialisation. We will undertake a lot of experiments and tests on different types of industrialised building systems," he said.
He said the company, which anticipated between 4-5% market growth per annum, aimed to maintain its capacity to serve projects like the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 and Mass Rapid Transit.
"We want to continue growing and developing our presence across Malaysia for the next 60 years," said Mulroney, adding the company had just celebrated its 60th anniversary here.
Besides cement, the French company’s businesses also include ready-mixed concrete, aggregates and other related materials, he said.
At present, the company has four cement plants in Rawang (Selangor), Kanthan (Perak), Langkawi (Kedah) and Pasir Gudang (Johor).
Lafarge, established in 1953 as Malayan Cement, has grown in parallel with the nation's development.
The company's products are exported to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia as well as Myanmar. - Bernama, August 13, 2013.