Canadian company, Cemcorp, plans to build a US$340m, 1.5Mt cement plant at Port Esquivel, St Catherine.
In its environmental impact assessment submission to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Cemcorp, which trades in Jamaica as Cement Jamaica Limited, proposed that the plant would take 30 months to build and commission and would make 900,000t of cement clinker in its first year of production, which in the December 2010 report was aimed at 2013.
Cement Jamaica, which said that it will export three quarters of the 1.5Mt of cement clinker it expects to produce each year, identified Jamaica as an "ideal landscape for the production and export of cement" due to the abundance of limestone and other raw/waste materials, such as clay and red mud.
"It is somewhat ironic, therefore, that Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL) is the sole manufacturer of cement in Jamaica and, until 1999, was also the sole supplier of cement to Jamaica," said the report.
Cemcorp went on to say that even though the three cement plants located in the Caricom — all owned by Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) – benefited "from protection under the Common External Tariff (CET)", the import of cement by "Caricom member states from non-TCL sources are more recently significant and highlight the degree to which distributors are seeking cheaper alternatives to the TCL Group".