Imported cement to ease construction crisis
published: Tuesday | April 11, 2006
Dionne Rose, Staff Reporter
MORE THAN 200,000 tonnes of cement will be imported into the island in
the coming weeks in an attempt to address the severe shortage of the
commodity on the local market.
Minister of Information and Development, Senator Colin Campbell made the
disclosure yesterday while addressing the weekly post-Cabinet press
briefing at Jamaica House.
“Cabinet did deal with the cement situation and I am happy to report
that … the cement supply situation was steadily improving even though
there is still some level of shortage in the market,” said Mr. Campbell.
The minister revealed that the importation was being done through the
Jamaica Bauxite Institute, which will this week finalise an agreement
with the Government of Cuba for 64,000 tonnes to be delivered in three
The first shipment, he said, is expected within the next two to three weeks.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance and Planning has approved some
150,000 tonnes of commercial imports with the first shipment expected
within a matter of weeks. Other imports include 20,000 tonnes by local
manufacturer Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL).
WORK HAS RESUMED
Mr. Campbell said that work had resumed on all government projects,
including the transportation centre in Half-Way Tree, St. Andrew, and
the two cricket stadiums at Sabina Park in Kingston and at Rock in Trelawny.
He said that the CCCL had also resumed its daily production of cement.
The minister said CCCL had received 220 claims from consumers for
compensation. The country has, over the past six weeks, suffered from a
severe shortage of cement following the recall of 500 tonnes of faulty
cement by the CCCL.
The recall led to a halt in construction projects, the temporary laying
off of an estimated 30,000 workers, and a fear of likely funeral delays.
Some buildings that were constructed during the period had to be demolished.
Carib Cement has admitted that the defective cement was on the market
for much longer than it had earlier stated and blamed, among other
things, the quality of the material for the sub-standard product. The
company hinted at changes in its quality control department.