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A-G: Cement Can Be Imported, Zero Rated Duty

The Fijian Government has announced that cement can now be imported from overseas with a zero rated duty on importation. It comes in response to a breakdown at the country’s
09 Jun 2017 10:23
A-G: Cement Can Be Imported, Zero Rated Duty
Pacific Cement Limited factory in Lami. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The Fijian Government has announced that cement can now be imported from overseas with a zero rated duty on importation.

It comes in response to a breakdown at the country’s main cement manufacturer, the Pacific Cement Limited at Lami which led to the shortage of cement supply.

This was confirmed by Minister for Economy and Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum stating that as long as people meet importation standards this will be allowed.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Fijian Government is more concerned about government projects such as the rebuilding schools and meeting the huge demand of the private sector as they venture into rebuilding public buildings.

He said even though there is a duty reduction on the importation of cement from overseas, it does not mean that they will be able to match the local retail price as price is controlled by the Commerce Commission.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was indeed unfortunate that Pacific Cement Limited failed to inform government on the cement issues as they would have made earlier arrangements.

He said it was disappointing to know that PCL’s cement production stopped some months back and currently the only supplier is Tengy Cement Fiji Limited.

However, he said a meeting held at the Ro Lalabalavu House in Suva saw the two cement companies come to an agreement through negotiations supported by the Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade Shaheen Ali and the Commerce Commission.

PCL provides up to 80 per cent of the cement requirement in Fiji and Tengy provides the  remaining 20 per cent.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Tengy can increase its production level but they do not have clinker, which is a raw material and a key ingredient for the production of cement.

He confirms that PCL has about 24,000 tonnes of clinker and this cannot be used because the factory is not producing cement at the moment.

He said PCL has agreed to sell Tengy the ‘clinker’ at $147 per tonne thus allowing Tengy to produce cement.

PCL is expected to start production in August.

The problem is the failure of its old machineries.

Edited by: Selita Bolanavanua

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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