The Caribbean – Allegations that Rock Hard Cement has been unable to clear its product in Trinidad are untrue.
This comes after the Barbados Nation was erroneously informed that the Rock Hard Cement delivery ship was “stuck on the Port of Spain docks.”
In fact, Rock Hard Cement is in Trinidad with the product already being discharged from the ship and cleared from the port earlier this week.
CEO and Chairman of Rock Hard Cement, Mark Maloney refused to be pulled into rhetoric reportedly from TCL Chairman Wilfred Espinet implying there is a “war” between Rock Hard Cement and Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL). Maloney said, “For Rock Hard Cement, there is no war. In war there are no winners. We do not believe ‘collateral damage,’ a phrase used by TCL’s chairman, is acceptable; we are committed to building up, not tearing down. We have invested significant resources, millions of dollars in Barbados and millions of dollars in Trinidad. We are committed and will stay the course. “
However, Maloney did clarify in regards to two issues: “Regarding the Trinidad market, contrary to what was reported we have been unloading our product steadily this week. It is being transported to Rock Hard Distributors’ new state-of-the-art plant. It is true, we did face an unusually large amount of challenges in entering the market. We can only speculate what forces are at work, although our sources in the industry tell us these actions were initiated by TCL. What we can say with certainty is those attempts to frustrate and deter us will not succeed, and we are now focused on getting our product into the market for our customers to benefit from good consistent quality cement.”
Rock Hard also responded to allegations they are dumping product in the region. “We are buying cement at current world market prices and are efficient in our processes. The fact is until Rock Hard Cement entered the Barbados market; this country had been paying more for cement than any other country in the world, due to monopolistic practices. I believe fair pricing is so unexpected, it surprised the public,” said Maloney. “If there are any allegation of cement dumping it lies squarely with TCL as for years they have been selling cement from Barbados to the Eastern Caribbean islands cheaper than they sell it for here. This has only changed now with the price in Barbados falling 50 percent in the past year.”
He also said that there is no shortage of cement worldwide and that Rock Hard has solidified relationships and agreements for long term and sustainable supply to all regional markets so their customers can be assured of this.