Carib Cement to assess claims

Carib Cement to assess claims
Published: 20 April 2006

Carib Cement Co. has dispatched eight inspection teams across the region to assess claims that the company’s production of inferior cement hurt building projects, a company official said Wednesday. Spokeswoman Lystra Sharp said Carib Cement expects to resolve most of the roughly 215 claims by the end of April. She would not disclose what companies have issued claims against Carib Cement nor would she name any of the projects affected.

Officials say Jamaica-based Carib Cement produced substandard cement, for six months due to problems with quality control. The problems reportedly began when the company stopped using pozzolan, or volcanic ash, from its quarry in St. Thomas parish because of high operation costs and extortion demands from crime bosses, they say.

The company temporarily halted cement production at its Kingston plant last month. Carib Cement was unable to produce about 20,000t of cement during the shutdown. In March, Rollin Bertrand, chief executive officer of Trinidad Cement, major shareholders in Carib Cement Limited, estimated the Jamaican company had distributed 500,000 metric tons (551,155 tons) of substandard product from its plant in Kingston.