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Ground broken for new Freeport concrete plant

President and CEO of FowlCo Maritime and Project Services Glennett Fowler and her team officially turned the soil last week for the $6.4 million Heroic Concrete and Concrete Products (HCCP) plant, which is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2024.

The new block and concrete manufacturing operation is located on John Maxwell Street in the commercial district along Queen’s Highway.

Fowler, who is also the president and CEO of HCCP, outlined an aggressive timeline, saying she expects the first phase, a ready mix plant, to be up and running within four months and the block and concrete manufacturing operation to be completed by January 1, 2024.

“This operation represents our forward-thinking approach and our pursuit of excellence,” Fowler said.

“Heroic Concrete and Concrete Products will be equipped with cloud-based technology and automated features that will be operated by a highly skilled and trained workforce. Our plant will have a capacity to yield 24,000 per day and 120 yards of concrete per hour.

“Additionally, we will be using a new product called Seamix by MEP World Group. We are the first Bahamian company to commit to the product, a concrete additive, which will increase the compressive strength of cement to shorten curing times; [it] reduces water consumption, it is non-toxic and marine-friendly.”

Seamix will also allow the company to use saltwater, brackish water, reclaimed water or any other non-potable water.

“We have invested $6.4 million in HCCP and in the upcoming weeks, you will see an aggressive buildout of our facility.”

Fowler added, “Today’s event is not just about us, it’s about the countless individuals who will benefit from our work.”

The new plant is expected to fill the concrete production void left by the closure of Gold Rock’s steel and concrete plant last year.

The company shut down two of its divisions in a standoff with the Grand Bahama Development Company (DEVCO), a subsidiary of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), over its access to raw material from an excavation site at the Devonshire Subdivision.

Director of Business Development at Sun Island Transfers Limited Barry Malcolm believes the Heroic facility will fill the gap for what is expected to be a high demand for concrete product on Grand Bahama within the next few years.

“For many years, I have been saying that the future growth of Grand Bahama will come from Bahamian entrepreneurs who work in and find opportunities in maritime space,” said Malcolm, who served as executive vice president of the GBPA for several years.

“I see tremendous growth coming into Grand Bahama over the next 10 years and the space that Mrs. Fowler is in, there is going to be high demand as the rebuilding of this island progresses.” 

In its initial stage, Heroic will employ 21 people, increasing the number to 70 at the completion of the project, according to officials.

GBPA President Ian Rolle said it is a sign that the island’s economy is heading the right direction.

“Heroic will employ the latest technology in plant operations and hire 60 to 70 individuals, a significant timely boost for Grand Bahama’s economy,” he said.

“The company will also reduce the importation need of ready mix concrete and other building and construction items.”

Rolle expressed the GBPA’s support for the revival and redevelopment taking place in the city of Freeport.

“Currently, there is more than $1 billion in investments underway or in the pipeline for the city,” he said.

“We celebrate with the owners of FowlCo, Curtis and Glennett Fowler, on this new investment and encourage other Bahamian investors to follow suit.”