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Sunday 17 November 2019
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Gopee-Scoon satisfied with TCL operations

TRADE and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has expressed satisfaction with the financial direction undertaken by Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) since the company was officially acquired by Mexico-based cement giant, CEMEX, in early January 2017.

Gopee-Scoon was speaking to reporters prior to a tour of TCL’s Claxton Bay plant yesterday. “Actually I am quite comfortable with this company, the improvements they have made and their capital restructuring,” she said.

“I think they are in a very favourable position. You have to look at where this company could have been. It has been years of difficulty and uncontrollable debt and this business could have been closed had it not been for the intervention, I think in 2015, of CEMEX.” “I think they brought about US $40 million and they were able to reduce their debts and restructured their debts so their capital structure now is quite favourable, as he said not perfect, but the company is in a much better place. They can manage their working capital, ensuring that they get maximum credit and they are paying their bills on time, but their debts are much lower.

That is where the efficiency of the agency starts - with managing your finances.

“When it comes to the employees, we are concerned but the organisation has managed to reach to a point of stability. What it means is they are prepared to keep the employees which they have so I can see there will be increased opportunities for employee levels as well.” Asked about foreign cement on the local market, Gopee-Scoon said the Bureau of Standards has to ensure that all goods entering met international standards as there is little to stop the entry of foreign goods.

However she noted that there were some improvements in the price of cement on the local market which is a benefit to consumers.

Meanwhile, TCL’s managing director Jose Seijo, asked about measures being put in place to reduce the environmental impact at the plant, said there is a “backlog of issues” which has to be dealt with. He said the company had invested “roughly 15 to 20 percent” of the company’s capital expenditure on health, safety and environment issue

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