Caribbean Cement Company Limited, CCC, wrapped up its third quarter with a substantial profit of $1.9 billion, and the company is signalling that Monday’s quake is unlikely to shake its bottom line.
The dust that seemed to envelope the Rockfort plant in Kingston to observers from afar, raised speculation that the sole maker of cement in Jamaica might have sustained damage.
But the company quickly dispelled the rumours.
“Our investigations have revealed no damage at our Rockfort Plant in Kingston and our operations are running as usual,” the producer of the Carib Cement brand said in a statement.
The dust covered the plant during a brief halt in power supply, which also shut down a large fan that channels excess dust down a specific path.
The value of the cement plant and its equipment hovers at $23 billion, the largest single item for the company which held $33.5 billion in total assets at September.
The 5.6-magnitude earthquake comes at a time when the company is undertaking a large expansion project at Rockfort. It’s adding new capacity to keep up with expanding demand for cement in Jamaica and other markets.
During the September quarter, profit rose 60 per cent year-on-year, on the back of $7 billion in sales revenue that rose 13 per cent year-on-year.
Year-to-date earnings, January to September, totalled $4.4 billion from $21.3 billion in revenue. The Jamaican cement maker, which is majority owned by Trinidad Cement Limited and ultimately owned by Cemex, paid a dividend of $1.6 billion to shareholders on October 6.
The expansion project involves enlarging different sections of the kiln, adding a new coal dosing system, an upgraded clinker cooling section, and a new design for the clinker transport system. The project began in October.
“CCC’s implementation of its requisite business strategies has been paying dividends as the company continues with expansion and the achievement of significant milestones,” stated the company in its financial filings.
The US$40-million expansion started officially in October and will continue to 2025. It will increase production capacity by 30 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes a year. The investment aims to strengthen Jamaica’s self-sufficiency in cement. Caribbean Cement Company currently can supply the local market, and plans to shortly export 3,500 metric tonnes of cement to the Turks and Caicos Islands.