Carib Cement receives cheque from government for Venezuela exports

Carib Cement receives cheque from government for Venezuela exports
Published: 23 January 2014


The government of Jamaica has given Carib Cement Co a cheque worth US$1.69m as part payment for the provision of clinker to Venezuela under the Trade Compensation Mechanism of the PetroCaribe Agreement.

The initiative will see Jamaica supply Venezuela with some 100,000t of clinker valued at approximately US$8.5m. The clinker shipments began in December 2013 and are expected to continue until May 2014.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Public Service, the Hon. Dr Peter Phillips, gave a cheque to Carib Cement chairman, Brian Young, during a ceremony on Tuesday, 21 January 2014.

The PetroCaribe agreement, allows Jamaica to settle part of its oil debt to Venezuela, which currently stands at approximately US$2.5bn, through exports. It is through the PetroCaribe agreement that Jamaica receives petroleum products from Venezuela at a preferential rate with a defined payment plan. Jamaica needs to service payments each month.

The first clinker consignment was sent to Corporación Socialista del Cemento in December last year. At the time, Caribbean Cement said "this development has tremendous implications for other industries and for Jamaican exports".

 Dr. Phillips said the arrangement was quite significant, as it represents the first time the Government has utilised the provision under the PetroCaribe Agreement for payment to be made by way of supplying commodities to Venezuela, thereby reducing the country’s debt obligations.

“Venezuela has benefited from the supply of materials that they need, while Jamaica and Carib Cement have benefited tremendously, by pioneering an additional market for their product, which employs Jamaican workers in producing it and helps expand overall production in the country. And for the PetroCaribe Fund, we are able to reduce our level of debt, and at the same time, facilitate productive activity in Jamaica,” said Dr Phillips.