Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jamaica to get cement shipment from Cuba

The Associated Press/KINGSTON, Jamaica
Associated Press Writer

Jamaica to get cement shipment from Cuba

APR. 25 12:24 P.M. ET Jamaica will receive a shipment of cement from
Cuba to help ease a shortage that is slowing down renovations to a
stadium hosting matches for the 2007 cricket World Cup, an official said

The 20,000 metric tons (22,046 tons) of cement will arrive this weekend
from Havana, said Colin Campbell, the information minister. It's not
clear how much Jamaica is paying for it.

Jamaica began negotiating with Cuba to supply cement after the main
local producer, Caribbean Cement Company Limited, temporarily suspended
production in March following claims of substandard product. An internal
inquiry later revealed that the company had distributed 500,000 metric
tons (551,155 tons) of faulty cement since November, said Trinidad
Cement Limited, the company's major shareholder.

The Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica says the shortage has affected
work on several major projects, including the US$29 million (euro23.4
million) renovation of Sabina Park, one of two local stadiums that will
matches for the cricket World Cup.

Work on the stadium was three months behind due to contractor delays and
the cement shortage, Robert Bryan, of the local World Cup committee,
said earlier this month.

Cement shortages have recently held up construction or renovations to
cricket stadiums in some Caribbean countries as they prepare for the
tournament, which is being held for the first time in the region.

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