Increased cement supplies offers little comfort

Increased cement supplies offers little comfort
Published: 16 August 2006

Reports that Caribbean Cement is to release 17,000t of cement to the market this week has done little to comfort stakeholders who have been complaining of a critical shortage of the product.

In an apparent effort to allay the concerns of persons in the industry the Commerce Ministry Tuesday morning issued a statement that the company would be producing 5000t more than produced last week. But construction interests believe that will do little to bridge the gap between supply and demand.

Major players in the construction industry have again raised concern that a shortage of cement is crippling the industry. With several major projects now underway they have warned of delays and job losses. With criticisms mounting the Commerce Ministry Tuesday morning announced an increase in the weekly output by Caribbean Cement Company.

But President of the Incorporated Master Builders Association, Michael Archer, says the amount to be released to the market by the cement company falls within the expected target and will do little to improve supply. He has received support from President of the Hardware Merchants Association, Errol Salkey. According to Mr. Salkey the demand is 25,000 tonnes per week.

The Commerce Ministry also reported that 8000t of bagged cement is expected from Cuba by the end of the month. Private importer Arc Systems is also expected provide another 7500t from a shipment it recently received from Columbia.

Whether this continuing uncertainty in the fortunes of Caribbean Cement will prompt Cemex to return to the islands with a mission to take a larger stake in the parent group Trinidad Cement remains conjectural at this point. At the last count, Cemex retains a 20 per cent interest in the group having been blocked from increasing its stake back in 2000 by means of a shareholder cap on Cemex taking majority control.

Garadagh Cement to achieve European standards   DAILY
Ajerbaijan producer Garadagh Cement OSC intends to achieve the European standards regarding the protection of environment through rehabilitation of electric filters. It is one of the perspective projects of the enterprise that is planned to be realized in 2010, the chairman of the board of OSC Uve Kohler told local news sources.

Touching on the construction of new kilns, the head of the company stressed that this project remains on the agenda, but its realization hasn’t been started yet.   According to him, over the period of January-July 2006, the volume of the sale by Garadagh Cement totalled 718,525t. For all year, it is planned to realize 1,235,628t of cement.