To mark the late Tupua Fred Wetzell’s 84th birthday, Apia Concrete Products (A.C.P) launched their latest venture last night.
It is a Concrete High Tech Turbo mixer (C.H.T.T.), which was unveiled at their compound, Vaitele.
The mixer is understood to be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
It’s a proud moment for Masoe Norman Wetzell, their family and the A.C.P, who have poured more than $2million into the project.
“This plant at least doubles its output capacity and puts us on par with some plants in New Zealand and Australia,” he said.
“It gives us better quality controls and consistency in our mixes and allows us to provide detailed reports on each truck that is batched.”
The event last night was well attended.
Present was the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and the Masiofo, Her Highness Filifilia Tamasese, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegao, Members of Parliament, the diplomatic core and members of the business community.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa hailed the unveiling as a mark to prove to the world that Samoa is ready and capable to take on major projects.
“The gathering here is so important to know that Samoa is moving fast into a very modern economy, in which, any kind of construction, we can attend to,” he said.
“Especially speaking to the diplomatic core in attendance, you can see now we have the means to develop, you don’t have to wonder, we have the capacity.”
Tuilaepa paid tribute to the mercurial rise of the A.C.P.
“Over close to 45 years ago, this company was formed up. I discussed the prospects of the company with the Wetzels as I was evaluating projects for government incentive scheme to benefit.
I was then working in the Ministry of the Economics Department. It’s amazing that over 40 years later, I am still around and this company has grown."
“It is extremely difficult in a small economy for companies to grow fast because many of these companies depend on funding and funding does not always come readily and cheap. "
“As you know, commercial loans are always difficult to get. Unless you have enough security and many of us at the time, as small companies, are discouraged to see the banks because the banks are very strict in the application of their funding rules."
“From that time to today, we have gathered to witness this major expansion, we have to be grateful to the man himself who started this business for the foresight A.C.P. has provided."
“For this forty odd years, A.C.P. has provided the opportunity to grow fast. We are at the position to move further up and why? Because the belief that we do have the prospects for greater growth."
“We now have in the government, huge projects that require concrete material. Not only projects that are on going but projects in the pipeline.”
His Highness Tui Atua unveiled the plaque while Her Highness Filifilia Tamasese officially opened the plant by cutting the ribbon.
The celebrations continued well into the night with a dinner at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel in Apia.