Located at e TecK’s O’Meara Business Park, Grand Bay Paper & Care Products Corporation has companies operating in Venezuela, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago. Grand Bay Paper Products Limited and Trinidad Tissues limited were recently recognized by the government of Trinidad and Tobago as a success story for T&T having overcome financial challenges and today is operating a state of the art operations and a highly competitive business, having recently penetrated the markets of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
e TecK’s Corporate Communications Department interviewed Mr. Farzan Ali, Director of Human Resources and Government Relations to find out more about Grand Bay Paper Products and its success story.
“Grand Bay Paper Products is the only paper mill in the English-speaking Caribbean and inherited a lot of debt from the former owners of the company when we took over in 2009. We basically had to turn around our operations and secure the jobs of 400 via a loan from Eximbank, I can safely say that that turn-around has been a success,” says Mr. Ali. “We’ve had to change out old equipment and increase tissue production, this year our aim is to increase tissue production to 28,000 tonnes compared to 27,000 tonnes which were produced in 2016,” Mr. Ali continued.
We found out from Mr. Ali that the paper mill converts pulp and recycled paper into tissue over a series of processes. The pulp and recycled paper is mostly imported but SWMCOL supplies recycled paper locally. The sister company, Trinidad Tissues Limited cuts up the tissue and turns it into finished products such as White Cloud, Soft & Pretty, Soft Weave, Nature Soft and Tisu. “We supply the Member Select brand to Price Smart outlets located in the Caribbean countries. We are very export focus and export about 65% of our products,” said Mr. Ali.
“As you may be aware, we are a Green company and a project which we are looking forward to starting involves going into schools and education the school population about recycling as part of fostering a recycling culture. We’ve also approached, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources to utilize its paper sludge as fertilizer on agricultural land. The by-product of paper sludge is lime or calcium carbonate which can improve the quality of soil,” said Mr. Ali.
When asked about the human resources art Grand Bay, Mr. Ali responded, “As Vice-President of Human Resources and Government Relations, I am pleased to say that our employees are really the driving force of our success. We employ about 400 employees in 24/7 shift system; they are very dedicated, hard-working. The Management team is a young, energetic, innovative, dynamic team of which I am very proud to be a part of. “
Asked about challenges in the sector, Mr. Ali said that the company generates its own foreign exchange due to its export markets and the current shortage of FOREX is not adversely affecting the company.
He would like to see Trinidadians develop more of a recycling culture, where there is less waste and more value added products.
Lot C, Lennox Yearwood Expressway, O Meara
Arima, Trinidad and Tobago
+1 (868) 643-2519