The Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) has again urged the State Government to explore the viability of setting up a second cement plant in Sandakan.
Making the call Monday, its President Kong Kwok Wah, said this so that regular supplies of cement are assured at reasonable cost to consumers in Sabah.
"At the same time, to expedite the implementation of the proposed Cement Bulk Plant in Lahad Datu through the fast track method so that it can be fully operated before the end of next year," he said.
Leading a delegation from Shareda to visit the Cement Industries (Sabah) Sdn Bhd at Sepanggar Bay, Wong said they were told that the demand for cement this year in Sabah was 1.12Mt compared to last’s 930,000t.
But the supply of cement was only 800,000t although the plant’s full capacity is 900,000tpa.
They were told that in order to meet the shortfall the supply of bulk cement or bagged cement was brought in from Peninsular Malaysia or Sarawak as well as neigbouring countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, among others.
Of late the inclement weather and delays in arrival of shipments have been blamed for hiccups in the supply of cement in Sabah.
Wong said the CIS had assured Shareda that they would continue to fulfil the market demand through imports and that the hiccup in the market should normalise through several contingency plans and strategies in enhancing the delivery system.
Among the plans were to give priority to clear all backlog supply of 3,800t with the distributors’ transporters by temporarily suspending new orders to clear the backlog on July 31 and Aug 1.
Delivery notes were also issued based on the present daily capacity output by the plant, to closely monitor that the system is fair and no queue jumping by the transporters and to set up a hotline in the marketing section to deal with any complaints directly.
In this respect, Wong advised its members or consumers to contact the marketing department of CIS directly for any assistance or enquiry in helping the present market situation to normalise as soon as possible.