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Caribbean Cement Company yesterday (Feb.16) officially launched its newest product, Carib Cement Plus, which is environmentally friendly and competitively priced.
At the launch held at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, company chairman Brian Young expressed confidence that the product, which has been available at distribution centres in Kingston, Portmore, Mandeville and Montego Bay since February 14, would satisfy the needs of consumers.
Mr. Young said that with the settlement of legal issues regarding the dumping of cement, the company’s energies were now focused on its plant expansion and modernization programme, which would continue over the next few years.
According to Mr. Young, it was expected that by 2008, the entity would be operating a more efficient and globally competitive plant with significantly increased capacity.
Industry and Tourism Minister Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, praised the company for its high manufacturing standards and for providing the construction industry with safe and reliable products over the years. Mrs. Assamba said that despite the challenges faced by the company, the future was a bright one “because of its unrelenting management capabilities in the face of competitive market prices.”
Endorsing the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association ‘Buy Jamaica Campaign’, Mrs. Ndombet-Assamba noted that with Jamaica poised as one of the pioneers of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), it has become more crucial to focus on strengthening and supporting the local market.
“By safeguarding our own local brands, we are creating a solid foundation on which to open our doors, not just to the rest of the Caribbean but to the world at large,” she stated.
The Industry and Tourism Minister said it was also important that private and public sector linkages be forged to spur growth and to secure support for local products. She noted that other countries were employing this strategy to safeguard markets.
Mrs. Ndombet-Assamba pointed out that the expansion of the country’s roadways, housing and hotel sectors provided prospects for the growth of the manufacturing and construction industries. She noted however, that even as the sectors carried out their productive activities, they should ensure that the protection of the environment, the provision of durable and quality products as well as affordable and efficient services, were not compromised.
Dr. Rollin Bertrand, Chief Executive Officer TCL Group of Companies, of which Caribbean Cement is a member, congratulated the company on its achievement. He said the move demonstrated the group’s “forward thinking” in its efforts to provide consumers with a more environmentally friendly and affordable product and was one of the key initiatives leading up to group-wide modernization and expansion.
The fifth phase expansion of Carib Cement has begun, which will see the retirement of the inefficient, high-energy demand wet process kiln and its replacement with a 2,800 MT per day dry process plant.
In the meantime, sister companies are preparing for ISO 14000 certification and are being equipped for improved production, capacity and efficiencies, to ensure that regional market demand is fully satisfied.Caribbean Cement Plus is a Portland-Pozzolan or all-purpose Type 1P cement. Pozzolan has become the global trend for the production of cement for environment and economic reasons.
Apart from being environmentally friendly, in terms of requiring less electricity in the production process and a reduced green house effect, the product shows increased durability in seaside, marine and harsh environments and can be used in most applications in Jamaica.
The product has received the approval of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association and the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association. The cement is approved by the Jamaica Bureau of standards and meets the ASTM C 595 designation. A draft Jamaican blended cement standard has also been developed.