Govt to release granite to help ease shortage

SINGAPORE - The Government will release granite from the national stockpile to help ease a temporary shortage that has led to delays with some construction projects here.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said on Tuesday in a statement that the granite will go to main contractors with ongoing projects that involve concreting work from Wednesday.

Granite aggregate - small pieces of crushed stones - is a key component in making concrete.

Early last month, the Indonesian government imposed a global ban on a wide range of mineral exports.

At about the same time, the country stopped shipping granite aggregate here.

The Singapore Contractors Association said that no granite aggregate had been shipped from Indonesia since Jan 10.

Indonesia is a major supplier of granite aggregate to Singapore, though other sources include Malaysia and Vietnam.

The Straits Times reported last Friday that the Indonesian government-issued regulations say that exports of raw or unprocessed granite are not allowed.

Only granite that has been shaped, cut or processed can be exported, the regulations state.

It is understood that there is also no specific ban on shipping granite to Singapore.

In its statement on Tuesday, the BCA said many construction projects here are getting a supply of granite from other sources, as the construction industry has diversified its sources since 2007.

"The release of the national stockpile will tide the industry over while it ramps up supply from other regional sources," said the BCA in a statement.

Some construction projects have been hit by delays since the middle of last month, given the temporary shortage of granite.

The BCA is also helping importers and the industry to increase supply, and urges the industry to continue to look for alternative sources.

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