Caribbean Cement to replace packaging equipment
Caribbean Cement Company said maintenance
to improve efficiency and consistent packaging of the company's products as a result of equipment upgrading required in the packaging area will be undertaken over the Easter weekend.
Hardware merchants and dealers last week reported that they were unable to meet demand because of a lack of supply from the cement producer, which confirmed the shortage in the retail trade.
Since then, "most of the issues we were having have been addressed", Corporate Communication and Public Relations Manager Sophia Lowe Pinnock told Gleaner Business on Tuesday.
She explained that the lack of delivery related to an issue in the plant's packaging area where some of the equipment is outdated, saying the company was in the process of replacing them.
"Our packaging area was not performing as it should, but there was never a lack of cement. Our industrial clients, for example, were not affected by this process because we did have cement. ... We were having an issue with the small baggage area and that is being addressed," she said.
DEALING WITH SUPPLY GAPS
Lowe Pinnock said the company has acted to deal with the supply gaps "so there is no real issue right now", and that Caribbean Cement aimed to delivery more than one million bags of cement to the market over the next four weeks.
Those volumes would be more than enough to cover demand, she added.
The requisite equipment has already been sourced from overseas. She adds that Caribbean Cement has spent US$1 million so far from the US$18 million it aims to invest in the plant this financial year.
In a release on Monday, Caribbean Cement said during the period April 7-9, more than 75,000 bags of cement were delivered to the market, with an additional 80,000 bags delivered to a local supplier.
Cement exports have been suspended to focus all resources and efforts on meeting and prioritising the local market, the company said, while noting it would be maintaining its current price on bagged cement to the retail trade.
The company also received an additional 75,000 bags of cement from Trinidad, with another 150,000 bags set to be delivered over the next few weeks.
"The implemented solutions along with investments and scheduled maintenance to improve efficiency will result in the needed improvement in the packaging area. These initiatives will address the recent market concerns and will ensure stability in the local market," the company said.