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IFC Supports Expansion and Modernization of Cement Group in the Caribbean


In Washington:
Adriana Gomez

Phone: +1 (202) 458 5204

Email:
Agomez@ifc.org

In Trinidad and Tobago:

Kirk Ifill

IFC’s Caribbean Regional Manager

Phone: +1 (868) 628 5074

Email:
Kifill@ifc.org


Kingston, Jamaica, July 22, 2005 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, facilitated Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) in structuring and arranging a US$105 million equivalent financing package that will help TCL expand and modernize its Jamaican subsidiary, Carib Cement, while reducing carbon emissions and improving environmental standards.  The TCL Group is the dominant supplier and only integrated cement producer in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Today IFC signed an agreement with TCL to provide US$35 million in senior and subordinated loans.  In addition, IFC helped TCL raise financing totaling US$70 million equivalent from regional banks, which includes a US$20 million loan and a US$50 million equivalent bond issue in Trinidad and Tobago dollars.  Both the local loan and the bond issue are being undertaken by Republic Finance and Merchant Bank Ltd in Trinidad.


Brian Young, Chairman of Carib Cement, said, “Using its considerable global experience, knowledge of the cement industry, and expertise in sustainability, IFC is supporting Carib Cement’s long-term plans and investment program, which will significantly improve efficiency and lower costs.”  He added, “We value IFC’s commitment as a long-term partner and are pleased that it responded to our tight schedule for funding in a very prompt and efficient manner.”


The TCL Group is currently strengthening the cement sector of its business by expanding capacity and optimizing its plants. The company is establishing cement terminals regionally, thus geographically diversifying its concrete operations.  It is also introducing new products, such as Carib Cement Plus in Jamaica


Kirk Ifill, IFC’s Caribbean Regional Manager based in Trinidad and Tobago, noted, “This is an excellent example of how IFC provides value added services to companies, in addition to capital.  It is a landmark investment for Jamaica, as IFC is leveraging TCL’s regional presence to help Carib Cement access financing in Trinidad and Tobago at longer tenors and better terms.  The company would otherwise be constrained by Jamaica’s sovereign ceiling for long-term debt.”  He added, “The investment launches an important partnership with the TCL Group in a high-impact segment of the Jamaican economy.”


IFC’s investment will help improve the local availability of cement and will promote investment in infrastructure, industry, and the housing sector.  Carib Cement’s modernization of the plant will improve its environmental performance, including significant reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and climate change.  This reduction should make the operation eligible for carbon credits under the IFC-Netherlands Carbon Facility – a first for Carib Cement and for IFC in the Caribbean.


In the Caribbean, IFC is the leader in providing long-term financial instruments and sustainability products to help companies grow and compete in the global economy.  In the last five years, IFC's Caribbean portfolio has tripled from $173 million in FY01 to $541 million today.  The major sectors of IFC's portfolio in the Caribbean are finance and insurance ($130 million), utilities ($112 million), transportation ($95 million), manufacturing ($63 million), tourism ($46 million), and telecommunications ($45 million).  


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

A major objective
of the TCL Group’s expansion plan is to satisfy a regional market that continues to be very buoyant, as construction activity remains very strong. The Group is positioning itself to satisfy its markets and to take advantage of opportunities for additional exports. The outcome of the capacity expansion will be a lower cost of production per ton of cement, which will increase the company’s competitiveness.