CHINA has been the world's biggest cement producer for nine successive years, with its annual output reaching 363 million tonnes in 1993, Xinhua (the New China News Agency) said. According to the State Bureau of Building Materials Industry, the country's cement production was only 66.27 million tonnes in 1978. During the 1990s, cement production increased an average of about 50 million tonnes each year. The country now produces more than 20 kinds of cement. Recently, the bureau launched a cement industry development programme in coastal areas, which attracted foreign investment of more than US$1 billion. Since 1990, China has exported about 27 million tonnes of cement worth $1 billion. Meanwhile, FLS Industries, the world's largest manufacturer of cement factories, said it won a contract worth $41 million to build two cement factories in China. The plants will be built in Chongqing, Sichuan province, and Wulan in Inner Mongolia, each capable of producing 2,000 tonnes of cement per day. Thailand's largest cement manufacturer, Siam Cement, is also considering building cement plants in China and Vietnam. The company is conducting feasibility studies for one factory in Nanjing, China and another in southern Vietnam. Siam's total investment should exceed $280 million. The proposed plant in Nanjing would be a joint venture with Zhongkua Cement, with a projected capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year. At present, total estimated demand for cement in China this year was365.3 million tonnes, exceeding estimated supply of 357.3 million tonnes.