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JIS News

Several companies across the island have been invited by Jamalco bauxite and alumina company to provide goods and services for its refinery expansion project in Clarendon.
The project should result in the plant doubling its refining capacity, moving from the current 1.25 million tonnes of alumina per year to 2.8 million tonnes.
The companies attended a ‘Goods and Services Expo’, hosted by Jamalco on December 14, at the St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church Hall in May Pen.
In her address at the Expo, Blossom Laidlaw, Public Relations and Communications Manager at the Halse Hall plant, explained that the event was intended to arrive at a pool of organizations, which are able to provide various services for the expansion project.
“We have invited companies to this expo, so that we can get persons to offer the relevant goods and services for the expansion project and we will compile a database of those organizations. Today, we are registering those companies,” she said.
Mrs. Laidlaw explained further that the process was not limited to companies, but individuals who were able to provide, for example, a single apartment or bed and bath for rental, or who owned a single bus to transport workers.
Services required for the expansion fall into the categories of Construction Equipment and Rental; Haulage; Janitorial Services; Housing; General Supplies, including office supplies/equipment/services, building hardware; Waste Disposal; Banking Services; Communication Services (equipment and repairs); Contracting Services (electrical/mechanical/civil); Transportation (on and off site); and Food/Catering.
The expansion project is to be managed by Fluor, a leading international engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance service organization with a history of engineering and construction of aluminum production facilities across the world since 1942.
Berry Moody, Project Manager at Fluor, told JIS News that the US$1.3 billion project is expected to take about 28 months for construction and start- up, with another 6 months for commissioning. According to Mr. Moody, the project would require about 3,500 to 4,000 workers at peak.
The first phase of the project will see an upgrade of the company’s capacity by approximately 150,000 tonnes. This first phase of the expansion should be completed by the end of 2006.
A major training programme is also being undertaken, in conjunction with the HEART Trust/NTA and the National Training Institute, to ensure a skilled and certified pool of workers to meet the demands of the expansion.
The training being done by HEART Trust/NTA is taking place at the Breadnut Valley facility in Clarendon, a former location for some of Jamalco’s mining operations, which has now been converted into a training institute.
Some 120 trainees are now enrolled in the areas of pipefitting, welding, electrical works, among other skills.
On May 5 this year, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson officially broke ground for the expansion project, which represents the single largest investment in the Jamaican economy and also the largest investment in the history of Jamaica’s bauxite and alumina industry.