JIS News

Within two years, some 80,000 kilolitres (80 million litres) of ethanol will be produced locally, under the Heads of Agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Brazilian firm, Infinity Bio-Energy (IBE) Limited. This will be increased to 135,000 kilolitres (135 million litres) in 2013.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding on June 27, signed a Heads of Agreement with the Brazilian firm, Infinity Bio-Energy (IBE), for the divestment of Government’s assets in the sugar industry, paving the way for full divestment on September 30.
Under the agreement, the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) will still be managing the Government’s assets at the five sugar factories and the workers’ status will not change before the final transfer of assets on September 30. After the transfer of assets to Infinity, Government will retain a 25 per cent stake in the company for at least three years.
In a statement to the House of Representatives, today (July 1), Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton pointed out that sugar production is projected to be 125,693 tonnes in 2009, decreasing to 62,000 tonnes in 2010, and would be maintained at this level up to 2013. In addition, molasses production is projected at 63,800 tonnes in 2009, decreasing to 27,638 tonnes in 2010, and maintained at around 27,200 tonnes.
The Minister said that the company would produce some 138 Giga Watt hour of electricity in 2011, and this would be increased to 158 in 2012 and 168 in 2013. “These figures represent net production to be sold to the national grid, after having satisfied their internal energy demand,” he informed.
“I want to point out that the production of the mix of products I have indicated above over the next five years, will require significant increases in the production of sugar cane from 1.4 million tonnes of cane in 2009 to 2.5 million tonnes in 2013. Importantly, the new company only proposes to produce half of this amount, hence there is a significant opportunity for existing cane farmers to be engaged in the production of the other 50 per cent,” the Minister explained.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton said that Cabinet, yesterday (June 30) approved the appointment of Aubyn Hill to head the implementation team, comprising the Ministry of Agriculture’s Sugar Transformation Unit, the Sugar Industry Authority, representatives of the Development Bank of Jamaica, the Attorney General’s Department and the Sugar Company of Jamaica.
The Minister pointed out that transitional arrangements over the next three months are going to be critical, in preparation for the company to fully take over on September 20. These include: legislative amendments, surveys and transfer of lands, and other arrangements involving the Ministries of Finance and the Public Service, Energy, and Transport and Works.
Dr. Tufton informed the House that Infinity Bio-Energy Limited was the only bid that was submitted.

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