JIS News

Managing Director of Jamalco bauxite company, Jerome Maxwell has said that his company was poised to begin its US$800 expansion programme, which will see a doubling of capacity to 2.8 million tonnes of alumina.
The development, he told JIS News, was made possible because of “the performance of our workforce at the refinery over the last few years”, adding that, “the expansion is a concrete expression of confidence in Jamaica”.
According to him, Jamalco’s workers are all “very skilled and innovative and can work in any facility that Alcoa (its parent company) has in the world”. Additionally, he pointed out that the provision of financial incentives for specific targets, have helped to boost productivity levels.
Mr. Maxwell said that over the years, the company has strove to keep production costs low to ensure that Jamalco remained a viable operation even when the industry cycle was down.
Noting that the three-year expansion project would require a large support service, Mr. Maxwell said that some 3,500 persons would be employed to undertake the task. He added that the initiative would move Jamalco from the fourth quintile to the first quintile of companies in the world.
“Jamalco is a world-class facility. It is one of best facilities that exists for Alcoa globally”, Mr. Maxwell said proudly.
The Managing Director also boasted of the company’s health and safety record, noting that, “we have had no recordable injuries in our operational workforce for this year”. Stating that, this was “extremely significant’, Mr. Maxwell said, “it is probably the only facility in Alcoa that has done that so far for the year”.
He observed that over the years, most of the accidents were “behaviour based” and so safety system was introduced, which encouraged workers to become each other’s keeper and to be proactive and take responsibility for each other. “We have almost eliminated the injuries”, Mr. Maxwell informed JIS News.
Stating that environmental standards were very high, Mr. Maxwell informed that last year, volume of spills was reduced by more than 90 per cent over 2003, with a 50 per cent reduction in the number of spills.