Thu | Sep 19, 2019

FosRich enters PVC pipe market as manufacturer

Published:Wednesday | May 8, 2019 | 12:05 AMNeville Graham/Business Reporter

The manufacturing division of FosRich Company is up and running, making it Jamaica’s sole producer of PVC pipes, used as electrical conduits and drains.

FosRich invested more than $150 million in equipment, training and market preparations, said Managing Director Cecil Foster. He ventured into production of the pipes having found imports of finished products to be cumbersome and costly.

“Nobody has been in the business of conduit manufacturing for the last 20 years. We saw that gap in the market and went for it,” Foster said.

The product was previously made in Jamaica by Thermo Plastics and later Omni Industries.

FosRich will sell its products under the brand name Solid PVC Pipes, mostly to the construction sector. Its conduits will come in the standard 10-foot length, while the drain pipes will be 20 feet long. The plant has the capacity for more than four million pieces of pipe per year, which Foster says is sufficient to supply both local and export markets.

FUTURE REVENUE

“Revenues should be pretty good. Our projections are that we should be adding another $500 million in revenues,” Foster said. The company’s annual sales currently top $1.3 billion.

Machinery for the plant was sourced from China and is installed at the company’s Marverly Avenue complex in Kingston. Foster says the suppliers of the equipment will visit his shop again this month for a two-month review of the equipment to ensure they are operating at optimal efficiency.

“One of the key things is that the machines are state of the art, and they can produce more efficiently in the order of four to five times what machines would do 20-30 years ago,” Foster said.

In addition to the expenditure in the plant equipment, FosRich will be spending $25 million to $30 million more on a solar-power system “capable of pushing out about 300-400 kilowatt-hours per month”. That should put the total investment at about $180 million.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com