Caribbean Cement Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the TCL Group, announced an agreement to supply 100,000 tons of clinker to Venezuela from December 2013 to April 2014, according to local news sources. The arrangement was facilitated under the PetroCaribe Agreement, a compensation mechanism whereby Jamaica could repay the loan to Venezuela with goods and services in lieu of cash.
The trade deal is the outcome of over three years of negotiations between Carib Cement, the Jamaican government and the Venezuelan government, according to a released statement. What started as an initiative to export cement ended instead in an agreement to supply clinker.
Carib Cement will export 20,000 tons of clinker per month to Pertigalete, Venezuela, where it will be used in cement plants. The company will continue negotiations to supply clinker after April.
The company said it was pleased to be a “trailblazer in setting a precedent for other goods and services to be negotiated under the compensation mechanism of the PetroCaribe.”
The company held a press conference to commemorate the first shipment of clinker to Venezuela at the Jamaica Gypsum and Quarries Pier where the ship for Venezuela was being loaded. Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller and Jamaican ministers Phillip Paulwell and Anthony Hylton attended the event as well as Venezuelan Ambassador to Jamaica Maria Jacqueline Mendoza Ortega and Chief Executive of the PetroCaribe Fund Dr. Wesley Hughes.