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Basic Industries Eyeing P.R. For Manufacturing Plant

Company Negotiating With Pridco On A Site To Produce New Wall, A Cost-Effective System Of Interlocking Steel Panels For Multiple Construction Applications


July 31, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Florida-based Basic Industries Corp. is looking to open a Puerto Rico branch of its New Wall division, which manufactures a steel-panel system that is said to reduce construction costs and time significantly.

"The product is steel-frame panels that are corrosion- and hurricane-resistant, quick and easy to assemble, inexpensive, lightweight, durable, and adaptable for many uses," Basic Industries representative Dean Laux told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. "The panels can be used to build walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs, even on larger buildings. A small house can be put up in two-and-a-half days."

Laux said Basic Industries intends to establish a manufacturing plant in Puerto Rico and sell the steel-panel system to developers and construction companies. The speed of the system, which Laux explained works by putting together interlocking pieces like Lego blocks, will significantly reduce the cost of building a home. The panels have a concrete finish, which can be applied or poured.

Basic Industries plans to have the manufacturing plant in operation by this fall, and to make some sales by December or January, said Laux. The manufacturing-and-assembly facility will be small, using 20 to 30 workers during the first year of operations.

"The machinery is actually sitting in containers at the San Juan port. We have been working with the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. [Pridco] on a site location," said Laux. "An attorney is working with us on getting the proper site. An application has been filed for tax credits as well. That has been underway for a few weeks now."

Laux said the company had its eyes on a location in Arecibo, but switched to a more suitable place in the island’s eastern region, though he didn’t specify where. He did say, however, that the deal on the site hasn’t been sealed.

Laux estimated the initial investment in the local plant at more than $1 million. Studies by the company indicated it would require at least $500,000 to begin operations, in addition to the more than $500,000 already invested in machinery.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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