Following a tour of the  Rockfort based plant, State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr the Hon Norman Dunn has lauded the continuous improvement of the Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL).  Noting that the company is a pillar of the Jamaican economy, Dr Dunn commended the company for its longevity and strategic management of this critical commodity.

He commended the management and staff for their high performance, strong safety record, modernisation initiatives and ongoing talent development programme. In 2020, the company achieved record production levels of 940,000 metric tonnes, in spite of the pandemic and inclement weather in the latter part of the year.

Minister Dunn, participated in the familiarisation tour Monday, January 25, said that he was pleased to see what has been taking place at the facility, adding that he was impressed with the level of work that has been done and the kind of investment that has taken place over the years.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction sector is one of the few sectors that continue to grow. As Jamaica continues to grow, cement plays a critical role in the construction industry. In the industrial sector, this company offers the greatest opportunity to achieve growth, which is what we are striving to achieve.  That is why the Government has put in place the necessary policy to enable this growth,” the Minister said.

The Minister opined that other policies, such as changes in building permits and zoning, have fuelled demand for high rise buildings, and therefore more construction and cement.

Yago Castro, General Manager, said the oversight, policies, guidance and rigorous standards of the Ministry of Investment and Commerce  have made it an important and appreciated stakeholder to Carib Cement.

“We are aligned on the importance of local manufacturing to building a greater Jamaica. Our world-class high-quality product made from local raw material at plants staffed by local and international experts is made fresh every day and supplied across the country. We continue to invest in our people and in our operation to optimise efficiency and meet the needs of the construction sector,” Mr Castro said.

In terms of capital investment, the company has invested more than JMD22 billion in new equipment, upgrades, and maintenance between 2015 and 2019.  As a result, the Rockfort based plant has become more modern, efficient, and safe. Today, the company is part of the global organization – CEMEX, with operational presence in 50 countries, commercial trading in 100 countries, and more than 41,000 employees.

Participating in the tour were Christopher Brown, Production Manager and Christopher Bryan, Capital Projects Manager of Carib Cement, Klao Bell-Lewis, Communication Manager, Norville Clarke, Commercial Development Coordinator along with representatives of the Ministry of Investment and Commerce: Jermaine Hunter – Director of Supplies and Pricing; Martin Philips – Director of Commodities; Clifford Spencer – Director of Projects and Programmes, Novelette Bryan and Nicola Wint, Assistant Information Officer.

Dr Norman Dunn (left) Minister of State in the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Commerce speaks with Christopher Brown (Production Manager)