Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) hopes its local US$9.3M bagging terminal, set to be commissioned in July, and complete with three 2000t silos, would help it meet local demand and has given two TCL distributors a 20 per cent stake in the facility. The two TCL distributors - Toolsie Persaud Ltd and Anral Investment Ltd - each hold a 10 per cent stake in the bagging terminal, which will be managed by the subsidiary TCL Guyana Inc. Though the facility is located in the compound of the Guyana National Industrial Corporation (GNIC), GNIC is not a partner. However, it is TCL Guyana Inc’s landlord and shipper of the cement, hence it is a long-term stakeholder.
Marketing Manager of the TCL Group, Rodney Cowan, noted that demand and supply had pushed prices up and landed price of TCL cement was not a reflection of the price on the market. But he also noted that freight, which is largely dictated by the price of oil and duties and taxes, was taken into consideration when the price was being set. Cost of freight is expected to rise again in July.
In Trinidad and Tobago cement is being retailed at US$7 ($1,400) per bag. In Barbados it costs US$10 ($2,000) per bag, while in other parts of the region the price ranges between US$6.50 ($1,300) to US$8 ($1,600). TCL cement is currently being retailed in Guyana at $1950 (US$9.75) per sack.
Cowan said Barbados’s usage was about the same as Guyana’s: some 160,000t to 180,000t per year. However, in Guyana the demand could be more with the numerous quantities of extra-regional cement importers claim they are importing. The plant was originally scheduled to cost US$4M, but this went up as a result of the shortage of experienced construction workers, training cost, a shortage of aggregates and the importation of equipment such as a crane from T&T to facilitate works on the silos.