Kochi, May 3 (UNI) Union Fertilisers and Chemicals Minister Ramvilas Paswan today laid the foundation stone for a Rs 91 crore joint venture between fertiliser companies FACT and RCF to produce gypsum-based load bearing panels for the construction industry.
Unveiling the foundation stone at a function at the Fertiliser and Chemicals Travancore's (FACT's) Udyogamandal complex here, Mr Paswan observed that nearly six million tonnes of gypsum was available with FACT, which was sufficient to make more than one million low cost houses.
The 'FACT-RCF Building Products' plant would use the technology supplied by an Australian company Rapid Building Systems (RBS) to make value added products such as fibre reinforced gypsum building panels.
A gypsum panel plant will come up at the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) premises at Mumbai also.
Mr Paswan said the load bearing gypsum panels would lead to a reduction in the use of bricks, cement and sand in construction.
The technology would cut construction costs by 30 per cent and the construction time by 50 per cent.
Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan unveiled the plaque of a ''rapid house'', built by using gypsum panels in a record 21 days.
Mr Achuthanandan said the technology had special relevance to Kerala as it cut down on the use of sand. Quarrying of river-sand for construction purposes has been one of the most environmentally-damaging activities in the state in recent years.
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