Monday, June 24

Cement production at Bintulu plant returns to normal


KUCHING: CMS Cement Sdn Bhd (CMS Cement), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad confirmed that the cement production facility in Bintulu has returned to normal as of 1.30am yesterday.

A press statement issued from Bintulu said the facility was taken offline on March 28, when an unexpected and unlikely mechanical operating issue arose.

While the issue could not have been predicted, CMS Cement was prepared and had replacement parts in storage and on standby. The CMS Cement team worked around-the-clock to restore full operations as quickly as possible.

As a result of the mechanical failure, cement stock in the greater Bintulu area including Samalaju did see some reduced distribution, but at no time was distribution ceased fully.

CMS Cement immediately implemented their emergency response plans by maintaining full production at the Kuching plant, re-distributing cement stock from around the state and importing cement, thus ensuring that supply was only temporarily reduced and never halted.

CMS group managing director Dato’ Richard Curtis said: “While the specifics of the mechanical issue could not be predicted, our pre-developed and well-drilled response plans kicked-in very quickly and the impact of the production disruption, despite the state’s logistical challenges, was minimised as much as was possible.

“Our partners and distributors were notified immediately and we kept key stakeholders engaged and informed. As Sarawak’s sole cement producer, we are committed to maintaining the cement production, at levels that meet the state’s development needs.

“This is why we have under construction for commissioning by the first quarter of 2016 a new 1 million-MT cement grinding facility to give us a third production facility and a combined rated capacity of 2.75 million MT, well in excess of the state’s future needs.

“We are confident that this mechanical issue has been contained until we can have a longer shut-down during one of the upcoming holiday periods when the final remedial works will be carried out without any risk of supply tightness.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and remain committed to not only meeting the state’s cement needs but also ensuring all stakeholders are updated and engaged,” he said.