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Underperforming market hits Caribbean Cement

World Cement,

News items from Jamaica report that Caribbean Cement Limited has announced a shutdown of production for the second time this year – the first as a safeguard against damage from civil unrest, and the second due to an underperforming market.

The company, which has four months of supplies backed up in inventory, has shut down kiln 5 for 40 days and sent workers off on involuntary leave. The plant could be back online during the final week in September.

During this period the company hopes to address its operating cash position, which was in deficit by J$209 million. The closure will also give the company breathing space from high overheads linked to electricity and diesel fuel charges. The complete shutdown of the plant during the west Kingston upheaval earlier this year had been ‘vey costly’ to the company.

It is said that Caribbean Cement is struggling with reduced sales at a time when it needs to boost revenues to pay for the US$177 million modernisation project completed last year. This almost doubled the plant’s capacity from I million to 1.8 million tpa.

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