Sand Becoming Lucrative Venture

Until recently, sand was used as one of the raw materials for construction of houses and other infrastructures in the country.

With people becoming enterprising, the utility for sand is getting more diversified and this important locally available resource is becoming lucrative in nature. One such enterprising entrepreneur is Yang Building Materials (YBM) based in Rinchengang at Wangduephodrang who has started the production of concrete Brick Blocks, Roofing Tiles and Paving Tiles using sand supplied by NRDCL from the nearby extraction site at Rinchengang.

product of sandsand product

Pile of Brick Bricks from Sand and other mixtures

The manufacturing unit by YBM was established during October 2011 which produces concrete blocks of sizes 9.4” x 3.5” x 4”. There are three different production units namely Brick Blocks, Roofing Tiles and Paving Tiles. The machine for production of Brick Blocks and Roofing Tiles are procured from China and the machine for production of Paving Tiles from India, which is not yet made operational.

The manufacturing unit consumes around 36 truckloads of sand in a month and produces about 25,000 bricks. The raw material used for brick production is sand/cement/stone chips, plaster and chemicals. The bricks are sold to customers in Wangduephodrang, Thimphu, Paro, Dagana and Trongsa dzongkhags.

According to the Production Manager, three different pricing schemes are followed. It was also learnt that during 2013, the unit had sold more than 800,000 numbers of brick. There is a preference for course, clay free sand for superior quality product and the quality is certified by Bhutan Standard Bureau (BSB).

With his product being tested and people becoming used to this locally available product over time, it is hoped that the import of bricks from India will be reduced. Following the footsteps of YBM, rumours are already rife that a couple of other individuals are working to set up similar project in the valley.

As a government owned entity mandated to extract and supply sand to the construction sector of the country, NRDCL will have to work hard to make sand available to the people of Bhutan including the demand from these innovative people for meeting their huge requirement of raw materials to keep their venture alive.