Cement shortage

Cement shortage
Published: 19 April 2004

The state of Florida is suffering a cement shortage and local construction companies are coming up empty – especially in their pockets.

Tarmac, a cement, ready-mix concrete and concrete block facility with plants in Florida and Virginia to name a few, has had several recent power outages at their plants that have caused many building contractors and construction companies to lose business. Unfortunately, the shortage looks like it could last as long as a decade, according to a consultant analyst for the cement industry.

Alan Neulander, vice president at B.K. Marine Powermix Industries in Deerfield, has had to shut down several jobs recently because he has no supplies to do the job.

“Apparently, the plant that supplies us our concrete somehow broke down and stopped producing cement and they didn’t have enough in reserve,” Neulander said. “At this point I do believe it’s [the plant] back in production.”

“We’ve had to shut down several jobs. In many case, we’re not doing work, the customer isn’t getting their job done and our income is cut substantially,” Neulander continued.

Hardy Johnson, president of the Florida Business Unit of Titan America, Tarmac’s parent company, said the shortage is a nationwide issue.

“There is an unprecedented shortage of cement. Florida is the No. 3 cement-consuming state behind Texas and California,” Johnson said. “In the state of Florida, 10 million tons are consumed annually.”

B.K. Marine gets half of its concrete from Tarmac and half from Rinker. Because of the shortage on Tarmac’s end, B.K. Marine can’t complete 50 per cent of their jobs. And if the majority of companies in Florida face the same problem as Neulander, then there are a lot of companies looking at Rinker to provide them with all of their supply. And Rinker doesn’t have enough trucks and supplies to make up the difference for everyone.

“Even if we use 100 percent from Rinker, their demand would have increased so much, they wouldn’t be able to supply us,” Neulander replied.

Titan America has come up with a solution that will help provide even more cement to companies than previously.

“Our company has a brand new state of the art cement plant in Miami that cost US$250m to build that will supply 2Mt to Florida because we saw this need in the state for cement. That’s 1 million extra,” Johnson said.