Cement supplies run dry

Cement supplies run dry
Published: 09 March 2006

An ordering blunder led to Bermuda’s cement stocks running out yesterday by lunchtime with new supplies not set to arrive until Monday. Bermuda Cement Company (BCC) said February had seen record demand which had totally drained its stocks. BCC president Jim Butterfield said: “We owe the public and businesses an apology but we are out of cement. “We made a mistake with the order. There was a price increase and a couple of people rushed the plant wanting to stock up before the increase on March 1. “We have had the highest sales in February ever.” The problem has been compounded after Saturday’s scheduled shipment had to be pushed back to Monday.

Mr. Butterfield said he was trying to arrange two shipments. “We are trying all resources to get vessels to Bermuda.” However, he also said part of the problem had been the continuing uncertainty around the plant. Last December the company reduced its inventory to clean out its silos as its 40-year lease neared its end with no extension in sight. However, an eleventh hour deal with landlords West End Development Corporation (Wedco) gave BCC a year’s extension.
Mr. Butterfield said: “With the exceptionally high demand for cement since that time we have simply been unable to build the inventory back to the appropriate level.”