JIS News

Additional claims from Ashtrom Building Systems Limited for construction work on Sabina Park, Kingston, to co-host the 2007 Cricket World Cup (CWC), has added $231 million to the 2009/10 budget.
The figure was included in the First Supplementary Estimates tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (September 22), under the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service’s capital budget, as “additional requirement to facilitate payment to Ashtrom Building Systems Limited for construction claims and arbitration award for Sabina Park.”
Ashtrom, whose headquarters is based in Israel, was awarded the contract, in 2005, for the re-construction of Sabina Park to meet International Cricket Council (ICC) standards for the staging of CWC 2007, at a cost of $1.2 billion. However, Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Audley Shaw, revealed recently that the cost has risen by an additional claim of $1.4 billion from Ashtrom.
“That is what I discovered this week,” Mr. Shaw told a Jamaica District Grand Lodge (United Order of Mechanics/Friendly Societies) dinner at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston recently. He explained that the matter was being arbitrated, but that Ashtrom had already won the first round of the arbitration and could, possibly, win the second, as well.
“And since we have to be engaged in zero based budgeting, we have to assume the possibility that they could win the entire arbitration process,” he stated.
“If they do, not only do we have to pay US$7.5 million for the remainder of that contract, it will attract an interest cost of two percent per month, from May of 2007. When you finish totting that up in Jamaican Dollars, the total cost of the legacy of Sabina Park will be an additional $1.4 billion that we are going to have to find to pay that bill,” Mr. Shaw said.
He added that the unexpected expenses, while revenue is falling, was a major challenge for the Government. He also accused the Opposition of seeking to enjoy the luxury of being Opposition at this time, without acknowledging that it had left the current Government with “a legacy for us to deal with all of these issues, none of which has to do with the decisions of this Government.”
Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, who broke ground for the project in 2005, noted then that, although Jamaica Cricket 2007 Limited was responsible for staging CWC 2007 in Jamaica, the contract would be funded from the public coffers.
“I had little difficulty in persuading the Minister of Finance to make the necessary provisions. This decision was taken by the Cabinet and we think it is necessary and a timely investment,” Mr. Patterson said at the ground breaking. He also predicted that the activity would generate substantial investments and would not only benefit the people in cricket, but also the adjoining communities.
“I am simply saying a spark from Sabina Park will ignite, in a positive way, the redevelopment, rebirth and the growth not only in this area, but of Kingston,” he predicted.
Sabina Park had been selected to host six matches in the group stage of CWC 2007 and one semi final match.

Skip to content