The Government is collaborating with LASCO Distributors Limited on a $150 million project to retrain the Rio Cobre in St. Catherine.
The three-month project, seeks to change the course of the river, which runs behind the company’s White Marl facility. It will protect the property, which is being extensively expanded.
“One of the problems that the company was having is that… each time the Rio Cobre is in spate, lands belonging to the company would be lost,” said Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan.
The State Minister, who was speaking to JIS News during a tour of the area on Wednesday, March 20, said over five acres of the property was lost the last time the river was in spate and so “we are changing the river course far away from the expansion that they are doing.”
The Government’s contribution to the project is $70 million. The State Minister said additional equipment will be provided to ensure that the work is completed before the start of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season, which starts in June.
He lauded LASCO for continuing to invest in Jamaica. He said the expansion work being undertaken by the company, is expected to increase the staff complement at the manufacturing and distributing arms.
“With the completion of the project, the company will be able to employ almost 1,000 new workers in the factory and that is the reason why we took the decision… to join with them to do part of this project,” he said, adding that the Government is willing to partner with other entities on similar ventures.
The company expects to complete construction of two new buildings at its White Marl facility, and install new machinery and equipment, this year.
Founded in 1988 by Company Chairman, Lascelles Chin, LASCO is a major manufacturer and distributor of household products and pharmaceuticals with markets stretching across the Caribbean, North America, Latin America and the United Kingdom.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter