Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. James Robertson, is expecting an expansion in the local bauxite/alumina industry in the next eight months, based on the work done by the Ministry in that sector.
Speaking at a press conference, held at the Ministry’s Trafalgar Road offices on June 14, Mr. Robertson cited the Ministry’s effort to facilitate increased investments in the sector, as well as efforts by the administration to source cheaper alternative fuel, in the form of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
“Based on the work that we have done in this Ministry, the bauxite/alumina industry within the next eight months, quite likely, will be a larger industry than it has ever been in the history of this country. A lot of hard work has been done,” he said.
Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. James Robertson (left), addresses journalists at a press conference, held at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston on June 14. Listening (from second left) are: Consultants to the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica on the Natural Liquefied Gas (LNG) Project, Joseph Fossella and Patrick LaStrapes.
The Minister noted that with the bauxite/alumina industry realising new investments, new sustainable technology, and cost effective alternative to fossil fuel, these factors should assist in significantly boosting the capacity of bauxite companies even further, adding that several are already performing well.
He said that currently, St. Ann Bauxite Partners are producing six per cent more than its normal output. Additionally, he pointed out that the output of Alumina Partners (ALPART), which is a high heat refinery, should increase significantly when operations are resumed, with the introduction of LNG as an alternative fuel, adding that “the efficiencies of better fuel, will make a huge difference to them.”
“We are waiting on results for ALPART. The owners will be in the island in July, and we sit waiting to see how they will go forward,” the Minister said.
He pointed out that in terms of West Indies Alumina Company’s (WINDALCO) Ewarton and Kirkvine plants, and Jamalco, “we are seeing new investments.”
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson (left), sorts through documents with his Consultant, Dr. Audley Darmond (right), prior to the start of a press conference, held at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston on June 14. Looking on is Consultant at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica on the Natural Liquefied Gas (LNG) Project, Joseph Fossella.
In addition to being a cheaper source of fuel for the bauxite industry, LNG is odourless, colourless, non-toxic and non-corrosive.
The Government began exploring the possibility of natural gas as an alternative fuel in 2001, under an initiative spearheaded by the then Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Science and Technology.