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  • Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has lauded local brewing company, Red Stripe, for its innovations and commitment to Brand Jamaica.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller was speaking at the official opening of the company’s $750 million Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant at its Spanish Town Road location, during a tour on October 8.
  • The plant is expected to reduce the company’s energy costs by as much as 50 per cent.

Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has lauded local brewing company, Red Stripe, for its innovations and commitment to Brand Jamaica.

Mrs. Simpson Miller was speaking at the official opening of the company’s $750 million Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant at its Spanish Town Road location, during a tour on October 8.

The plant is expected to reduce the company’s energy costs by as much as 50 per cent.

“I’m witnessing remarkable proof of Jamaican business innovation and vision. This is innovation that cannot be judged simply at local standards. This is world class business transformation,” the Prime Minister said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said her faith has been renewed in the certain knowledge that Jamaican manufacturing is alive and well.

She noted that while the Government seeks to increase foreign direct investments, local direct investments from companies like Red Stripe is important and vital for creating more jobs, raising productivity levels and increasing the pace and scale of economic growth.

“This is the kind of positive vision, energy and action that is going to take Jamaica forward,” the Prime Minister emphasised.

The tri-generation plant, which was incorporated into production earlier this year, will provide electrical power, steam and chilled water to the brewery.

It was implemented as part of efforts to reduce the beer company’s energy costs, and lower its carbon footprint and environmental impact through a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions level by 2016.

Managing Director, Red Stripe, Cedric Blair, said the CHP plant is one of Red Stripe’s single largest investments within the last five years and “it has been paying back and making a difference to our business.”

“The price of electricity per kilowatt hour is about US43 cents. With our CHP, we are able to produce at US23 cents and when we move to LNG, because our plant has dual fuel capabilities, we will be able to lower costs to a further US18 cents per kWh,” he noted.

Red Stripe has also installed a new brewing plant; a spirits facility; modernised its brewery operations; and renovated the Red Stripe house and Desnoes and Geddes conference centre.

The company has further invested big under its Project Grow initiative, through which it plans to grow cassava and other raw materials locally, with the aim of replacing 70 per cent of imported inputs by 2020.

So far, the company has spent more than US$1.1 million on this project and is committing to invest even more over the next two years.

“Our preliminary numbers from our farmers is that under this pilot, we will produce about 70 tonnes per hectare. This means that we will produce more cassava on our pilot farm than the rest of Jamaica combined,” Mr. Blair pointed out.

He said the company’s plan is to get to 2,000 acres within the next three to five years and to employ one person per acre.

The Managing Director explained that all this is part of Red Stripe’s steadfast commitment to Jamaica and its overall goal to transform the way it does business.

“Last year alone we spent over $1.7 billion and this year we are going to spend somewhere in the region of another $1.7 billion,” Mr. Blair said.

“This has been a real commitment to Jamaica. We have been steadfast in looking to change the trajectory of this business and change the fortunes of Jamaica, while we are doing so,” he added.

Mr. Blair further informed that its commitment and investments have been paying off in a big way for the company. “We went through a tough period, but I’m happy to say that we are back in growth and our goal is to double this business over the next four years and we believe we have the skills and the capability to do that,” he said.

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