Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCC) today held their 68th Annual General Meeting at the Spanish Court Hotel. Following the chairman’s opening remarks, the company’s General Manager, Peter Donkersloot Ponce, who was appointed on November 7, 2016, presented on CCC’s 2016 year in review. CCC reported a significant decline in ‘total loss and injuries” and total recordable injuries, which Mr. Donkersloot Ponce was proud of. Even though the injuries incurred were not life threatening, the General Manager noted these occurrences have to be eliminated as the company’s aim is to have zero injuries going forward, which echoed the Chairman’s and CCC’s stance of “safety first is our number one priority”.
The General Manager carried on highlighting that the most valuable asset of Carib Cement is its people. With the company’s new global partner, CEMEX, CCC has pushed a Cross Training Programme. CCC has sent employees to over 50 plants across the region and world, to experience other plants and learn industry best practices. While CEMEX employees have visited Jamaica to share experiences, in a bid to solve issues which arise that have been solved elsewhere. The programme seeks to share the best of both worlds with CCC focusing on making the best of the combination of local talent mixed with experience and broadening the organizational network. The General Manager indicated employees underwent approximately 1,000 hours of training, with the company aiming to increase this number to 5,000 hours in the future.
Speaking of the operational progress made by the company, CCC recorded 100 kiln stops in 2016. This has been reduced significantly from 2014 and 2015 levels of 324 stops and 215 stop respectively. The General Manager commented, “back in 2014, the kiln stops were almost one per day. We had 324 kiln stops from the kiln, a main piece of equipment in the plant.” He also stated his intentions of reducing the number of stops to single digits, highlighting that, “a plant shouldn’t stop more than once or twice per year, so it’s our responsibility to achieve operational excellence.” Furthermore, cement output by the company in 2012 was 760,296 tonnes, this has since stretched to 911,325 tonnes in 2016, a 20% increase over the five years. This was achieved without changing equipment, but by performing upgrades and maintenance according to Mr. Donkersloot Ponce. The group is also targeting output of 1.2 million tonnes by 2019.
Speaking on the outlook for the company, the Group will be pressing forward on the following:
- Safety: pursuing zero incidents going forward
- Customers: The Group will be evolving from a product driven organization to a client driven organization. CCC will be providing one face to customers offering complete and different solutions, not only products. further enhancement of the sales force and further improvement of its digital interface is also a priority of the Group to better serve clients.
- People: Continued investments in the Group’s most valuable assets, its people.
- Operations: maximizing operational efficiencies and controlling costs.
- Sustainable Returns
Lastly, a top priority for the Group, will be to bring the leased assets to CCC balance sheet by December 31, 2018. In doing so the company will seek an advisory group to suggest the best structure to achieve this. The General Manager stated, “the first couple of steps have been taken, to bring those assets back to Caribbean Cement. The fact the CEMEX Group is now the largest shareholder of TCL, allows Carib Cement to be in a better position to find the best financial structure to bring the assets back.”
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