Tengy Cement Ltd. plans to meet demands


consttTengy Cement Limited is hopeful that it will meet the demands of cement in the local market.

The agreement between Lami neighbours Pacific Cement Limited (PCL) and Tengy on Thursday states that PCL, Fiji’s main cement manufacturer, will be selling their clinker to Tengy.

“Every day we can only get about 100 clinkers. 100 tonnes of clinker is not enough for full production,” Tengy Cement Limited human resources manager, Haigang Luo said.

“During normal days and with our clinker, we produce about 350 tonnes of cement.

“Tomorrow we will start getting the clinker from Pacific Cement Limited then we will start make a full capacity production from Monday.”

It follows action by Attorney-General, Minister for Economy and Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to resolve the shortage of cement in the busy local construction market.

Pacific Cement stopped production because of machine problems but had plenty of clinker. Next door Tengy was short on clinker.

Clinker is the incombustible residue, fused into an irregular lump, that remains after the combustion of coal it is a key part of cement making.

Mr Haigang said the clinkers from PCL would help them produce about 600 tonnes of cement in a day, but if there were mechanical issues than they would have to be producing 500 tonnes.

“The clinkers we’re buying will depend on the market. Before Pacific Cement Limited operates as normal we will have to be buying from them.”

He added their ship would be in Suva by the end of this month.

Some contractors have expressed their disappointment on the shortage of cement.

Tropic Furniture project manager Davendran Kumaran said: “It is frustrating, like as the Attorney General had said, why was this not informed before? The current building industry is on hold in Fiji at the moment. The country is short of field stuff.

“We have got people from overseas taking up projects in Fiji and to make it worse we do not even have the material.

“Just in Suva alone, you can see big projects coming up left, right and centre,” said Mr Kumaran.

Although Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there would be zero duty rate on imported cement, Mr Kumaran said the cost factor would increase.

“If we import cement the question is whether there will be an increase in our cost and whether the projects we have taken over will be willing to compensate. Who will compensate the contractor for the increase in cost?”

He said there was a cost and delay effect as a result of this situation.

While the imported cement will not arrive until after two to three weeks, Mr Kumaran said the construction company will still have to pay its workers for their labour.

Reliability of imported products in another question at hand, said Mr Kumaran.

“During the cyclone, Fiji ran out of pine timber so it was imported from New Zealand but its grade was nowhere near Fiji’s pine timber. It was very soft and breaking off. So that is another question, what kind of quality of product are we getting from overseas?

“We do not know its quality until we receive it,” he said.

The company is currently working on a project near the MIOT hospital in Suva.

“The project is almost on a standstill at the moment. We just had our logistics meeting a few days ago and everyone is panicking. There will be a major delay.

“So our only option is to import. We have to increase the cost where the contractors are in a lost,” he said.

Aside from the zero duty rates, Mr Kumari requested that the Government consider the balance of difference in payments and to ensure the quality of cement is not compromised.

Shah Group of Companies

Meanwhile, Shah Group of Companies director Sharif Shah said the company is disappointed about the news but will have to consider contracting with Tengy Cement.

“We are left with no other choice. We have to use the cement and my company; we have got construction, my own properties with hardware. We need cement because we are losing a lot of sales,” said Mr Shah.

Despite rumours of Tengy Cement being of lower quality, Mr Shah believes there is no difference in Pacific Cement Limited and Tengy Cement Limited’s cement quality.

“There are different customers who have different preferences,” he said.

Although the company is positive about Tengy Cement quality, he believes the cement company is also struggling as the demand for cement in the market is too much for it to cope with.

“We are not even getting constant supply from them now,” he said.

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