JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding says that effective September, Government will be making it mandatory for motor vehicle fuel to include ten-percent ethanol.
Mr. Golding said the decision comes against the background of the new trading arrangements that will govern the export of sugar to Europe which will come into effect next year. Addressing the third and final day of the 2008 Denbigh show at the Denbigh Industrial and Agricultural show ground in May Pen, Clarendon yesterday (Aug 3), Mr. Golding noted that while Jamaica will still have guaranteed access to the European market, it no longer enjoys a guaranteed price.
“It would haven been calamitous for the sugar industry were it not for the agreement we have entered into for a partnership with Infiniti Bio-Energy of Brazil’, he said. The agreement is a major undertaking that will see much needed new capital being injected into the sugar industry. He said that under the agreement, less of the country’s sugar cane will be going into sugar and more into ethanol, to take advantage of the growing market demand for ethanol as oil prices climb.
Mr. Golding said negotiations with Coimex of Brazil are at an advanced stage for the acquisition by Government, of the ethanol plant currently operated by Petrojam Ethanol Limited. The incorporation of this plant in the new arrangement, is critical to its success, he said.
Mr. Golding said Government was not abandoning the sugar industry. He said that rather than selling the sugar assets outright, Government now owns 25-percent of the new company that is being set up to own and operate the enterprise. The sugar lands he said, will remain in the ownership of the Government and will be leased to the new company.
Mr. Golding said Government is on schedule for the transfer to take effect on September 30, 2008 and that arrangements have been made for all sugar workers to receive their redundancy payments on that day. Mr. Golding said a large percentage of the workers are expected to be re-employed by the new company.
“It is a major breakthrough for the sugar industry which has been through one crisis after another”, he said. The Prime Minister has called for co-operation on the deal which he said requires clear focus, sober minds, responsible utterances and most of all, putting Jamaica’s interests first.