A five week supply of cement will arrive in Dockyard today to help ease the drought – with another batch set to arrive on Saturday. It comes a week after the Bermuda Cement Company’s (BCC) silos ran empty due to exceptionally high demand before a price increase took effect and also an error in a supply order.
To get things moving again the company’s staff will work around-the-clock assisting with the discharge of cement.
But part of the problem, according to BCC president Jim Butterfield, is the uncertainty surrounding the future lease of the cement silo site, which is under discussion through the quango the West End Development Corp.
Works and Engineering Minister Sen. David Burch said the Government and the BCC had entered into an agreement last December to plan out the future of the cement plant and its lease, which has currently been extended for one year. Sen. Burch said this process was ongoing, adding: “The only thing that is different is that they (BCC) have got wind that they have got some competition and last week’s outburst can only be a demonstration of fear – fear of having to play on a level playing field.
Late this afternoon the cargo ship MV Lolland carrying 6700t of bulk cement will arrive, while another 5000t should come on Saturday to help fill the twin silos.
BCC president Mr. Butterfield said bulk deliveries to Bierman’s, SAL and Tynes Bay to get readymix and block plants back in action will be the priority. After that supply bags will go through the normal channels. He added: “Once again we apologise to the community for this most regrettable situation.”
Bierman’s Concrete Products is to apply for planning permission for storage for 6,000 tons of cement after company bosses lost patience with the uncertainty hanging around Bermuda Cement Company’s lease. Mike Bierman, CEO of Bierman’s – and a BCC shareholder – said: “We want to be masters of our own destiny.”