Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Wednesday (August 24), broke ground for the $6-billion (US$40-million) Kiln-5 expansion project at Caribbean Cement Company Limited, in Kingston.
The Mexico/Jamaica Friendship Mural project was also unveiled during the ceremony as part of efforts to celebrate Jamaica’s 60th year of Independence.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister said he is pleased that as part of its growth strategy, CEMEX took the decision to upgrade and increase the production capacity of its subsidiary, Caribbean Cement Company Limited.
“This expansion project will increase Carib Cement’s production capacity by approximately 30 per cent, that is by 300,000 metric tonnes. The expansion will use state- of-the-art technology and will introduce novel grinding additives to the manufacturing process, which would further enhance the production of low clinker products in the region,” Mr. Holness said.
He argued that by optimising the heat consumption in the cement production process, the project will also minimise Carib Cement’s carbon footprint in Jamaica.
Mr. Holness said that the CEMEX approach with their ‘Future in Action’ programme, means that Carib Cement will also be on a sustainable development path.
“The expansion is a very positive development for our country and will strengthen the self-sufficiency of our national cement industry; it will reduce the dependency on cement imports, allow for exports and re-enforce Caribbean Cement’s ability to serve the growth of the construction sector in Jamaica and the Caribbean,” he noted.
The Prime Minister said that major projects across every category of infrastructural development, whether it is transportation, housing, tourism, all rely on cement.
He noted, further, that the construction industry employs technical, skilled, and unskilled persons and contribute significantly to economic growth and job creation.
“An expansion of the production capacity is very significant and important to Jamaica’s economic growth strategy. Cement is the foundation of the construction industry, which is vital to generating the growth and the jobs which we are now seeing. Growth in an economy is important for fiscal sustainability and for raising the standard of living,” Mr. Holness emphasised.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the mural and other similar activities across the Corporate Area bring to life Kingston as the creative capital of the Caribbean.
“We see the work being done by the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation; we see these as catalysts for positive social, cultural and economic change in our community and they are also positive catalysts for our mental health,” Mr. Holness added.
He pointed out that improving the aesthetics along the ‘Welcome to Kingston’ corridor is not just the responsibility of the corporate entities along the route and that the Government also has plans to improve the corridor.
“There are now considerations about the roundabout… and what we can do to make it more aesthetically appealing and attractive,” Mr. Holness said.
For his part, CEMEX Chief Executive Officer, Fernando Gonzalez, said the expansion of the capacity of the cement plant will be the biggest investment made by CEMEX in the country in the last five years.
“[It] is expected to help Caribbean Cement Company to entirely supply the local market, making Jamacia self-sufficient in terms of cement production. We are in the final stages of the engineering phase and in obtaining permits from the authorities,” Mr. Gonzales noted.
“Very soon, we will begin to procure the equipment needed for this initial phase of this project that will not only expand our capacity but also allow us to optimise our heat consumption in the manufacturing process, and, therefore, reduce the carbon footprint of our facility in Jamaica,” he added.
He said the possibility exists to further scale up the project in the long term, adding that “we are bullish about our business in Jamaica, and this investment demonstrates CEMEX’s commitment to this beautiful country”.
Regarding the mural, Mr. Gonzalez expressed thanks to the Government of Jamaica, in particular the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Embassy of Mexico for collaborating to create the mural project.
CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable services to customers and communities in more than 50 countries.
Lyrically Badd – Run Road (Audio Visual)