Canadian engineering firm Cemcorp has been given permission by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) to construct Jamaica's second cement plant, according to local press reports.
Cemcorp will construct a 1.5Mta plant at Port Esquivel, St Catherine, at a cost of US$340m.
"We are happy that we can now move forward with our plans," Armand Nahmiache, Cemcorp's chief executive officer, told The Gleaner yesterday.
"Hopefully, we will be breaking ground in another three months," Nahmiache said. "I expect construction to last for about two years."
According to NEPA's website, the firm was granted environmental permits "with stipulated conditions" for the construction of a cement plant and coal-fired power plant, the establishment of a limestone and clay quarry as well as the construction of an access road and conveyor belt.
While Trinidad Cement Limited and its Rockfort, Kingston-based subsidiary, Caribbean Cement Company, are now the dominant players in the regional market, Nahmiache is of the view that there is room in the region for another player.
“We have no interest in a tussle for local market share, but one must realise that whether in the (wider) Caribbean market or in Jamaica, competition is good for any economy," Nahmiache said.