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Story Highlights

  • Jamaica will save approximately $3 million annually from the sale.
  • Government’s interest in the company was sold for US$11 million.
  • The amount of debt owed by the government to UC Rusal as at the end of April 2014, stands at approximately US$21.15 million.

The Government has sold its seven per cent share in West Indies Alumina Company Limited (Windalco) to Russian aluminium giant, United Company Rusal Alumina Jamaica Limited (UC Rusal).

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who made the announcement in a statement to the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, June 10, said Jamaica will save approximately $3 million annually from the sale.

He informed that Government’s interest in the company was sold for US$11 million. However, the Minister informed that the parties acknowledge that the amount of debt owed by the government to UC Rusal as at the end of April 2014, stands at approximately US$21.15 million.

As such, the parties have agreed that the purchase price shall be credited against the debt and no actual payment will be made by the purchaser.

The remaining amount of approximately US$10.152 million, which comprise the debt after the application of the purchase price, will be settled by the Jamaica Bauxite Mining Company.

Mr. Paulwell noted that the status of Jamaica’s seven per cent holding in the company and the Government’s debt service obligations have been the subject of considerable attention by successive administrations.

He pointed out that the cost of production per tonne of alumina at Windalco has been significantly higher than the price of alumina, and over time, this debt has led to an accumulative amount of US$23 million.

“This situation has become untenable and the sale agreement will save the country some US$3 million per annum,” the Mining Minister informed.

UC Rusal is the world’s largest aluminium producer.