According to Datuk Aslie Awang Hashim, chief executive officer of Cement Industries (Sabah) Sdn Bhd (CIS, a cement shortage no longer exists in the country.
He said there should be sufficient supply although market demand for cement is about 1.12Mt for the State, an increase of between two and three per cent.
"Our grinding plant in Sepanggar is capable of producing up to 900,000tpa but due to breakdowns and power outages, which is normal, it produces between 720,000 and 750,000t of cement on average.
"No need to worry as we import bagged and bulk cement from the peninsula and other Asean countries like Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand for Sabah’s building industry," he said.
Aslie said the supply of cement for the East Coast, namely, Lahad Datu, Tawau and Sandakan, is also stable at between 300,000 and 350,000t.
On the proposed bulk terminal in Lahad Datu to function as a landing platform for cement, he said the RM35-40 million project would be completed by the end of this year and operational by early next year to meet the high demand for cement in the East Coast.
He said the terminal would also be equipped with bagging and packaging facilities when bulk cement arrives at the terminal and that distribution to the East Coast could be made faster.
As for profit this year, Aslie said CIS is optimistic of making a profit although prices of goods and other charges have gone up.
"We are confident of maintaining our profit by end of this year despite rising operational costs which have increased substantially due to the hike in clinker prices and freight charges.
"Fortunately, the Federal Government lifted the price control on cement in June which enables us to operate and cover the high operational costs.
"Hence, we set the price of our cement at factory price when selling them to dealers and distributors, which subsequently will fix their respective prices depending on transportation costs and the area concerned," he said.