Arawak continues to expand in B’dos
THE Arawak Cement Company Limited is broadening its base in Barbados.
Yesterday, the company’s General Manager, Manuel Toro revealed that the St. Lucy based cement producer will be creating an International Business Company (IBC) that will engage in trading. That IBC which was based previously in Anguilla, is according to Toro, a demonstration of the commitment Arawak has to Barbados.
Toro told The Barbados Advocate that the trading company will be adding another $50 million in foreign exchange which the Cement company will be earning for Barbados in 2017. “That company will be undertaking trading for all of the Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) companies in the region, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados,” he said.
Saying that they are confident about the future of the Arawak Cement Company in Barbados, the General manager said that they will be here for the long-term.
“We also expect over the next three years to invest US$50 million not only in new equipment and spare parts, but in labour, electricity and energy. So I think that would mean good things for this country especially at this time,” the General Manager said.
The company is banking on a 35 per cent increase in cement exports in 2017. Arawak currently exports to Guyana, Suriname and St. Lucia, and Toro said that in the case of Guyana that country is reporting increased economic activity which would allow for more imports of cement.
“We are exploring new markets in the French Caribbean for example, and we have secured a certificate that would permit us to export to some European countries,” he stated while explaining that would account for additional export volumes. Over the last two to three years demand for cement has not been growing.
“But we are expecting that in the future we will be seeing an increase in Barbados if all the projects we see in the pipeline become a reality,” Toro stated.
He is hoping that Barbados and the region will see a brighter future for the construction industry.
The General Manager does not anticipate any difference for Arawak once Cemex, the Mexican cement company, increases from 40 per cent to 69.3 per cent its stake in TCL which is the parent company of Arawak.
“So I think we will continue doing what we are doing. We are investing in our operations, we are increasing our productivity, we are sending people from Barbados to the Cemex operations in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and in the Dominican Republic,” Toro remarked.
Last year 20 people from Barbados went to those countries for training, and for transferring knowledge from Barbados to those countries.