The availability of cement on the local market to supply the construction industry, especially the new Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, has been the subject of attention over the past few weeks by the Antigua and Barbuda government.
On January 2, Prime Minister Spencer convened a meeting to discuss the issue with Coordinator of the Inter-Governmental Working Group for Cricket World Cup 2007 Ambassador David Shoul, Trade Coordinator in the Ministry of Finance and Economy Ambassador Dr Clarence Henry and Mr Sean Ramsey of Francis Trading Agency – local shipping agents for processing shipments of cement.
Following the discussions, it was agreed that an urgent mission should be mounted by Ambassadors Shoul and Henry to Trinidad to meet with Dr. Rollin Bertrand, Chief Executive Officer of Trinidad Cement Limited TCL.
Ambassadors Shoul and Henry traveled to Port-of-Spain on January 4 and held meetings with TCL on a wide range of issues, among them being the direct supply of cement to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium project.
In addition, issues relating to maintaining existing cement prices, an increase in the volume and frequency of cement shipments to Antigua and Barbuda and the ability of TCL to meet existing and future demands for cement were discussed.
The meetings in Trinidad resulted in the following conclusions: TCL will immediately provide direct shipments of cement individually to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium project, Midlands Building and Supplies and Antigua Masonry Products. TCL will also provide and average of 4000t each month to the Antigua and Barbuda market.
Other conclusions reached included: he possibility of TCL establishing a security stock pile of 1000 tonnes of cement for the stadium project. Plus the cement producer will continue working with the government to ensure that cement is retailed at EC$16.50 per bag.