Semen Andalas’ head of corporate communications Tri Rahman Batara says that its Lhonga plant had been seriously damaged by the 26 Dec tsunami that has claimed more than 94,000 lives in Aceh and North Sumatra. Semen Andalas is part of Lafarge, which has said that 345 of the group’s staff out of 625 at the Lhonga plant are still missing following the tsunami.
’We cannot confirm now the exact amount of damage we have suffered, or when we can restart the plant’s operations,’ Batara said. However, he said, if necessary, the company can release its cement stocks from its receiving facilities in Belawan, North Sumatra and Batam in Riau province. ’The problem is, of course, transportation to Aceh,’ he said.
He said Semen Andalas, which produces 1.6Mt of cement per annum, has a market share in Aceh of around 80-90 per cent. ’But frankly speaking, after the disaster there should be an opportunity for other producers to come to Aceh,’ he said.