$120M concrete block manufacturing plant to be built at Yarrowkabra

–project to create over 30 jobs

LOCAL company, JSB investment Inc., plans to position itself to benefit from the rapidly growing construction industry, with a $120 million investment in a concrete block and pave manufacturing facility at Yarrowkabra, on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

The company will be establishing the facility on a plot of land stretching 40 acres. In a project summary submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company related that the site is approximately 4.2 miles from the junction of Soesdyke-Linden Highway and East Bank Demerara Road.

The proposed site for the facility and its surroundings is currently used for sand mining. This project, which is expected to be completed within eight months, will be one of the first concrete block manufacturing facilities in that area.

JSB investment Inc. is a local company that offers products such as sand, loam, and aggregate/ stone imported from St Lucia and Suriname. The company also specialises in services such as heavy-duty machinery rental and marine transportation.

According to the project summary, the company’s new facility will produce nine different types of concrete blocks and pavers. The company’s estimated production is expected to be as much as 19,200 blocks per eight-hour shift or 2,400 blocks per hour.

The products that will be manufactured at the Yarrowkabra facility include fly ash brick, zig zag shaped paver block, I-Shape paver block, solid concrete block, hollow block, retain block, and ventilation block.

The company said that one of the major impacts it anticipates from the investment will be the reduction in the cost of concrete blocks for customers, noting that correlating high supply and demand of a product would allow for reduced costing.

The plant is expected to provide employment for a minimum of 32 persons inclusive of managers, plant operators, block makers, and truck operators, with the preference of employment being given to persons living within the surrounding communities.

The company said that several measures will be instituted to mitigate any potential environmental impact that might arise due to the construction or operation of the facility.

One of the focal points will be the establishment of two reservoirs that will be built to capture all waste water, since there is no current drainage system in place. According to the project summary, waste water will be treated and tested before being released into green areas and roots of trees.

According to preliminary findings, the establishment of the facility will have no environmental impact on the air, since the cement will be kept in silos and pass through an extruder for mixing; other materials will be kept in closed buildings.

Further, the company said that trees will be planted and revetment will be done with stable soil to curb erosion. Additionally, grass and shrubs will be planted in areas where there will be no intense traffic by staff or machinery.

JBS’ investment is timely, given the increase of 25.5 per cent recorded in the construction industry during the first half of this year.

It was reported that this growth in the construction industry was influenced by a general increase in the number of public and private infrastructural projects, as well as rehabilitation works nationwide.

It was widely reported that from the housing sector to the agriculture sector, there has been mobilisation of resources from both private and public sector stakeholders, who are laying the foundation to capitalise on the impending growth locally.

Private projects, as reported, range from the construction of hotels and apartment complexes, to shopping complexes and office buildings among other things.

In the public sector, aside from the construction of several low-income and young professional houses, there were upgrades to highways, main roads, and miscellaneous roads countrywide. This was also supplemented by the commencement of construction on new roads.

In addition to providing improved road facilities, the ongoing works have also added to the creation of thousands of jobs, bringing the Dr. Irfaan Ali-led administration closer to delivering on its promise to create at least 50,000 jobs within the next five years.

During this year alone, the government budgeted $172.4 billion for education, public infrastructure and healthcare. Of this sum, $58.2 billion worth of planned expenditure on public infrastructure is the second largest component of the government’s fiscal programme.

On the capital side, the budget for infrastructure is $32.9 billion, or 32 per cent of the total allocation for 2021.

Further, the government’s total budget for road programmes is $23.7 billion, $7.9 billion of which will go specifically towards the development of community roads. Of the budgeted sum, $2.1 billion has been set aside for hinterland roads, and the rehabilitation of a number of hinterland airstrips. A number of those projects are ongoing.


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