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BK International dismisses govt’s stone shortage claim

A stockpile of stone at BK International’s depot.

Construction firm, BK International, says its has more than an adequate supply of granite stone in stock as the entity expressed dismay at claims fro m the government that it soon have to import stone to fill a shortage here.

At a news conference held Monday at the company’s head office at Mudlot, Kingston ,CEO Brian Tiwari rejected statements by President Donald Ramotar, saying they were probably  ill-advised.

He said that the company currently has 10,000 tonnes of stone at its Water Street location and a similar amount at its Mazaruni quarry.

“We have been producing 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes per month and this means that we are way above what we can supply,” he told reporters.

Tiwari added that the problem might be one where contractors could not pay the required cash on delivery sum to his company since he noted that it credit totals had reached $50 million.

He said that there might also be a problem with companies that were awaiting cash from government- specifically the Public Works Ministry- which he noted could take as much as 6 months process. At the same time, he observed that the Ministry of Housing processed its payments in one month.

Tiwari said there was no reason for government to import stone because Guyana has four quarrying entities, among them Toolsie Persaud whose stone is even stronger than BK International’s.

“My contention is even if government wants to import it should import quality stone. But my concern is why it would want to do that when we have stronger stone,” he added.

He said that if at the end of the month the situation remains the same his firm would export its product. For instance, he said, a Trinidad-based firm has already ordered 50,000 tons of stone.

He said BK International’s stone meets the required standards in the United Kingdom, United States and other countries.

The CEO, meanwhile,  said his company was yet to receive a response from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) for a license to further expand its quarry. The application, he said, was made in December 2012.

He said the company has plans to produce as much more than 100,000 tons of stone monthly because it has the resources.