JIS News

Managing Director of JAMALCo, Jerome Maxwell has said that the US$690 million expansion programme at the bauxite company was set to begin by early next year.
He informed residents and stakeholders in Clarendon on Wednesday about the company’s plans, while addressing a meeting of the Clarendon Parish Development Committee (CPDC). The meeting was held at the St. Gabriel’s Church Hall in May Pen.
Mr. Maxwell told the meeting that construction would commence by February 2005, and this came just one year after the company’s most recent expansion process, which saw an increase in production capacity to 1.25 million metric tonnes.
This expansion, he noted, was completed in February this year ahead of its scheduled completion date of September 2004.
He highlighted that this was indicative of the progressiveness of the company, which moved from operating at a loss in 1999 to be now placed in the top five in terms of cost among the nine Alcoa plants worldwide.
Giving details, Mr. Maxwell said that production capacity would increase by 1.4 million metric tonnes per year, moving the company’s total production capacity to 2.65 million metric tonnes, approximately two times its current capacity.
He also told the meeting that the expansion was expected to increase the entire alumina production in Jamaica by a little over 30 per cent, creating approximately 2,500 jobs, and should be completed by mid 2007.
According to Mr. Maxwell, the feasibility study for the expansion was now being done; a skills institute was being set up and Government’s approval process involving a number of agencies including the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) should be completed by August.
He noted that approval for funding should be given by the Board of Alcoa at its next meeting in September.
By 2008, the Managing Director pointed out, the Jamaican economy would be impacted by the new expanded operation, which would provide over US$44 million annually in taxes and royalty from Alcoa, and an additional US$30 million annually will be spent in the local economy for services and material.
Mr. Maxwell also handed over a donation of $50,000 to the Parish Development Committee for operational purposes.

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