Around 1965, whilst mapping the southern region of the country, extensive deposits of cement grade limestone was discovered at Pugli hill. With the encouraging deposit of limestone, the idea of setting of a cement plant was conceived by the Royal Government of Bhutan for self-sufficiency in cement and to achieve socio-economic and industrial developments. In early 1970, on the recommendation of Government of India, the assignment for the feasibility study for setting up a cement plant was entrusted to M/s Cement Corporation of India (CCI). The report submitted by CCI to the Royal Government of Bhutan confirmed the proposition of cement plant as viable.
The Government of India came forward to assist Bhutan further by proposing to finance the entire project through Grant-in-Aid. As no technical expert was available in the country then, Mr. V. B. Rangnekar was taken in 1974 on deputation from Government of India to head the project. In March 1974, The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Forest, Royal Government of Bhutan constituted Pugli Cement Authority later renamed as Penden Cement Authority with His Royal Highness Prince Namgyal Wangchuck, the then Tengyel Lyonpo as its Chairman. The Capital investment and the Working capital were provided by the Government of India and Royal Government of Bhutan respectively for 300 TPD cement plant.
The civil construction work started in 1977 and the total plant was ready for commissioning in May 1979. However due to non-availability of power within and outside the country the actual commissioning of the plant was delayed by one and half year. With the arrival of captive D.G. sets the plant was commissioned on 25th November 1980, and finally the cement dispatches commenced on 23rd Jan. 1981, which was a milestone for Penden Cement and the landmark in the history of industrialization in Bhutan.
The Plant was officially inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck on 5th Feb. 1982, in presence of the then Indian Ambassador, His Excellency, S. Hydar thus further cementing the age old Indo-Bhutan Friendship.
Social Amenities like club, medical facilities etc are provided by the company. The club has a multipurpose hall for conducting meetings and cultural programmes and 14-station gym. Every year the club organizes events like His MajestyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Birthday, National Day and Foundation Day along with Penden Foundation Archery Tournament. It has its own in-house band with well-equipped sound system. Games facilities like football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, lawn tennis, archery etc are also provided.
PCAL has been maintaining a full-fledged medical facility for the benefit of its employees and their families. As a part of corporate social responsibility, PCAL has also been extending medical facilities to the villagers of Pagli and Bukatading gewogs.