A $400 million clay block factory was officially opened yesterday in Longdenville, Chaguanas.
The plant, a collaboration between Abel Building Solutions (ABS)—a member of the ANSA McAL Group- and Italian company SACMI, was launched by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The factory can produce up to 57 million blocks a year.
ANSA McAL group chairman A Norman Sabga said the decision to invest in the plant was based on the growth of the economy and the construction sector. He said the factory, named TK4, replaces three previous kilns and will be more environmentally safe and can produce lighter and smoother blocks.
He said that although 150 employees had been displaced as a result of the closure of the old kilns, new jobs had been found for most of them.
Sabga also said there was a shortage of talented labour in the country which attests to the buoyancy in the economy. He urged the government to establish new building codes, which are expected to be instituted as law.
Persad-Bissesar lauded the $400 million investment in the non-energy sector.
Persad-Bissessar, who toured the facility, unveiled a commemorative plaque at the event which was also attended by Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh, Minister of Transport and Member of Parliament for Chaguanas East Stephen Cadiz and Mayor of Chaguanas Gopaul Boodhan.