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Caribbean Cement Company forays into the Dominican Republic market

World Cement,

Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCC) has shipped its first batch of 2500 t of cement to the Dominican Republic as part of a larger move to expand its markets in the region. Additionally there are reports of the company signing an agreement to set up warehouse space in Haiti, as well as a distribution and packaging unit to consolidate its position in the country to which it has been exporting cement since 2008.

Haiti is currently experiencing an extensive rebuild following the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

Anthony Haynes, CCC’s general manager, revealed that the completion of the US$170 million Rockfort, Kingston plant upgrade and modernisation project, which boosted the CCC's capacity to 1 million tpa of cement has left the company with an urgent need to find new markets outside of Jamaica, hence the venture into the Dominican Republic market.

Haynes commented that the Dominican Republic, which is estimated to have a consumption of 3 million tpa of cement, is considered to be among the most lucrative in the region and the CCC’s intention is to gain 10% of that market. The country, Haynes added, has been a target market for the CCC given the “very attractive prices and [it being] only two shipping days away from Jamaica.”

Last year the cement manufacturer exported 192 500 t – double the amount shipped in 2009 – and if the expansion into the Dominican Republic proves successful this could increase the exports by a further 78%.

"We can see ourselves easily putting in 100 000 t into the Dominican Republic per year for a start," said Haynes, adding, "I think very soon we should be doing 8 – 10 000 tpm. This market is the real game-changer."

Following the one-year certification process by the Dominican Republic's standards agency General Management Standards and Quality Systems, the company commenced its exports.

The CCC has partnered with Docemca, a local company, to sell its products instead of investing in infrastructure build.

"We sell FOB (freight on board), so the risk passes to them,” Haynes explained, “they own the ships and have the logistical capabilities in Dominican Republic and also in Haiti.”

The CCC has not yet infiltrated the Venezuelan and Colombian markets, but it has allegedly moved to establish partnerships in those countries.

"Haiti is a very volatile market, but we have a very good understanding of that country, and it is part of a long-term strategic goal," Haynes concluded, "[Although] that goal can change if the donor countries that promised some US$16 billion in aid following the earthquake (in January 2010) do not provide the money, but we intend to be there."

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