The Long Pond Distillery in Clark’s Town, Trelawny, is now fully up and running, providing employment and manufacturing rum for the local and export markets.
The distillery, operated by National Rums of Jamaica (NRJ), suffered extensive damage due to fire in 2018, and was rebuilt to resume full production.
During the reconstruction, emphasis was placed on making the operations more eco-friendly, and the scope of work included construction of a 13,000-square foot metal-framed building, installation of oak vats and gutters, and catwalks made from high-density pinewood.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in his address at the official reopening ceremony on Friday (June 17), welcomed the rebuilding of the facility as a symbol of investor confidence in the country.
He noted that Jamaica’s economy remains stable and the country is a prime destination for investment.
“It is very important that the average Jamaican appreciate that regardless of the macro issues – some of them geopolitical, some of them related to climate change, some of them are economic shocks outside of our control – Jamaica is still a destination for investment. It is still a choice for investors, and our economy is still doing well,” he noted.
Mr. Holness commended NRJ and other stakeholders who contributed to the rebuilding effort, noting that they have shown resilience.
“Today, the Long Pond Distillery is more efficient and modern. The distillery is providing more jobs, the distillery is investing in the community. So, I am here, not just to open the distillery… but I am here, as well, to celebrate the investment. I am here to say ‘thank you’ on behalf of those being re-employed and re-engaged,” he said.
“I am here to celebrate with the community the return of full production, the return of the industry in full force, so that the people around can benefit,” Mr. Holness added.
He noted that the Long Pond Distillery is an important part of the island’s rich heritage and needs to be protected.
For his part, Chairman of NRJ, Komal Samaroo, said that the distillery is known worldwide for the unique blends of Jamaican rum it produces.
“Therefore, when part of this facility was destroyed by fire a couple years ago, we immediately took the decision to rebuild it, despite the many challenges that we had to overcome,” he noted.
The Long Pond Distillery has a rich history in rum production dating back to the 17th century.
The facility is one of the oldest on the island and employs some 22 persons.
The reopening ceremony was held under the theme ‘Committed in the past, committed to the future.’