Cement shortage as major supplier ceases operation
There is a shortage of cement supply in the country after Pacific Cement Limited halted operations more than a week ago.
Pacific Cement, formerly known as Fiji Industries Limited, catered for 80% of the Fiji market. Chinese company Tengy Cement Co. Limited, in operation since 2014, is the only other cement manufacturer in Fiji.
In a press conference, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Pacific Cement had to cease operations because of mechanical problems in its factories.
To ease the supply shortage, local businesses are now allowed to import cement that met the AS3972 standard. The importation would be duty-free.
The AG said Pacific Cement had known that they would stop operations several months ago but did not inform stakeholders in the market.
Pacific Cement CEO Sowani Tuidrola had earlier said that the company found it difficult to source replacement parts.
“We have ordered the parts six months ago through New Zealand but it was actually manufactured in China so at the moment that part is leaving China, on its way back to New Zealand for final measurements and machining in NZ before it is going to be shipped to Fiji and we are expecting that around July to be here.”
Pacific Cement has agreed to sell its stock of clinker to Tengy. Clinker is an essential raw material in cement production.
Pacific Cement is owned by Fijian Holdings Limited and Vinod Patel Group and was rebranded from Fiji Industries Limited in 2014.
The company also exported its products to exports its products to the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, PNG, Cook Islands and Wallis and Futuna.
Pacific Cement hopes to recommence operation by August.