JIS News

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, has announced that the bauxite and alumina company, Alpart, in Nain, St. Elizabeth, should resume operations in the first quarter of 2016, following completion of the refinery’s new energy infrastructure.

The re-opening will come some seven years after production ceased at the plant, due to a decline in the global bauxite industry.

Mr. Paulwell noted, however, that the owner of the plant, UC Rusal, has indicated that while it is forging ahead with the implementation of its energy solutions, if there is overall market improvement, it would “immediately move to open the plant”.

The Minister was making his contribution to the 2013/14 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on April 24.

UC Rusal has presented a plan for an energy solution, which involves a shift from coal to gas, as their main energy source.

“They have decided to proceed with a natural gas solution, and have entered into an agreement with the PACE Group for infrastructure, and with British Petroleum for the supply of gas, which will be delivered as compressed gas,” the Minister explained.

Meanwhile, he informed that the Government has now reached an agreement with UC Rusal on the purchase price for the sale of its seven per cent interest share in WINDALCo. The price has been approved by Cabinet.

“The bauxite alumina sector is very important to us as a nation, not only for the revenue that it can bring, but also in light of the fact that so many Jamaican communities and workers depend on the industry for their survival,” the Minister told the House.

By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter