Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says the newly opened ARC Lumber Treatment Plant, is a welcome investment that will help to further grow the country’s economy.
“The launch of this facility is a clear indication of the owner’s confidence in the country and its evolving business environment. The launch of the lumber treatment plant certainly represents the kind of innovative response from businesses needed to drive our economy and country to the next stage of its development,” he said.
Mr. Hylton was speaking at the official opening of the state-of-the-art facility at its Bell Road location in Kingston, on Wednesday, March 13.
The Minister further noted that innovations of this type contribute to strengthening the country’s export capacity and is consistent with advancing the national export strategy, which seeks to improve the country’s export performance by advancing the competitiveness of firms and sectors, while enhancing the business and trade environment.
“ARC Manufacturing, with its innovative plant, represents the next wave of value-added manufacturing that we expect will benefit directly from the implementation of the Global Logistics Hub, which will serve as a global supply chain platform to support the country’s export sector,” he said.
Mr. Hylton further noted that the launch also signifies the company’s efforts to improve the competitiveness of the lumber supply sector in Jamaica.
“Management’s efforts to push the company further up the value chain will inevitably position it to take advantage of export opportunities and to generate export earnings, while creating employment and increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country,” he said.
The Minister praised Osmose Inc., a wood preserving company which collaborated with ARC to establish the facility, for the “strategic partnership in allowing the technology to come not simply to ARC but to Jamaica.”
General Manager for Osmose Inc. in Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Javier Romero, said the facility, which is the first of its kind in Jamaica, “is the most modern and advanced plant I know in the Caribbean and the Latin-American region.”
While the plant, which is fully automated, has the capacity to treat approximately 500,000 board feet (BF) of lumber per 40-hour week, Dr. Romero noted that it has the potential to treat 50 million BF per year, “allowing ARC to cover the domestic demand and also export markets.”
He further noted that he is pleased that the company will be using the most environmentally friendly preservative in its treatment operations.
The plant, which occupies approximately 11,000 square feet of space, is equipped with a pressure tank; four holding tanks; and a control room. It utilises a process called Pressure Treatment for its lumber and wood products. The type of treatment used is a form of micronized copper preservative, which is widely used in the construction industry in the United States.
ARC is one of Jamaica’s leading manufacturers and distributors of building materials. The company locally manufactures construction wires and mesh, nails, fencing and roofing products. It also distributes lumber, cement, steel and steel products.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter