New CEO wants to continue CCI’s ‘growth trajectory’ – says Tetra Pak plant will result in higher quality paper

(www.stabroeknews.com) Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Caribbean Container Inc Patricia Bacchus says she wants to follow through on the work done by her late predecessor, Ronald Webster “as it relates to diversification of both the recycling portfolio and the environmentally friendly product lines the company offers.”

Earlier this week, Bacchus who was named by the company’s Board of Directors as its new CEO provided Stabroek Business with an exclusive and extended note on her vision for the company in which she worked for just eight years before her meteoric rise to the position of Chief Executive.

She said that having been actively involved in CCI’s restructuring she is focused on “continuing the growth trajectory, which has so far seen the company avoiding short term borrowings and overdraft facilities, operating on a healthy cash flow basis, and delivering returns to shareholders in 2013 for the first time in over 20 years.”

CEO Patricia Bacchus

New Tetra Pak plant

The 36-year-old company, which operates an integrated paper recycling and corrugated box manufacturing entity, has had to face a bumpy ride in recent years. The new CEO’s recruitment to the company as a Consultant in 2006 coincided with “a major restructuring exercise” at a time when she said, CCI was “faced with impending foreclosure.” She said that the restructuring exercise commencing with negotiations for a compromise settlement with the Republic Bank Group which resulted in the write-off of US$15 million in debt within the financial closure period which expired at the end of 2006. Bacchus was also involved in negotiations that resulted in the company’s operational restructuring which commenced in 2007 and a member of its Board of Directors since 2009.

A week ago, on May 23, CCI’s new CEO undertook her first major public assignment in that capacity, overseeing the commissioning of the new multi-million dollar Tetra Pak recycling plant. Bacchus says that the commissioning of the new plant “marks the dawn of the company’s extension of its recycling operations to cover recyclable material in addition to cardboard waste.” She says that with fibre yield from the recycling of Tetra Pak packaging, the company is able to cushion to some extent, the limited supplies of cardboard waste locally.

Under the agreement with the overseas company Tetra Pak provided the main equipment for the recycling plant and CCI provided assembly components such as piping, pumps and electrical panels. The local company also undertook installation of the equipment.

According to Bacchus the Tetra Pak Recycling Plant gives CCI the capacity to recycle Tetra Pak Aseptic packaging waste, comprising layers of paper and poly-aluminium, commonly used to package liquids such as juice and milk. She says that CCI has already commenced collection of Tetra Pak waste from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and Guyana adding that the high strength fibre that will be added to CCI’s paper recycling process will enhance the quality of paper produced by CCI.