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  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, says that talks are underway with potential new investors in the operations at the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Clark’s Town, Trelawny.
  • Minister Samuda informed that the potential investors are energy specialists, who are looking at energy conversion, which would require a higher level of production.
  • The Minister said he is very optimistic that the investors will come on board, noting that the Government is fully committed to ensuring that the factory remains open.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, says that talks are underway with potential new investors in the operations at the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Clark’s Town, Trelawny.

He said the Ministry “is working overtime” with the owners of Everglades, which operates Long Pond, to conclude the negotiations.

Minister Samuda, who was addressing employees and cane farmers during a tour of the factory on Friday (July 8), said an agreement should be in place by September, which will keep the estate open and viable and give cane farmers “peace of mind” as they prepare for the 2017 sugar crop.

“I would say certainly within a month, we should have a very definitive position on exactly what state the negotiations are at. They should be complete, decisions taken and the plans outlined to everybody. I can assure you…we will communicate the results as they occur on a real time basis,” he said.

Minister Samuda informed that the potential investors are energy specialists, who are looking at energy conversion, which would require a higher level of production.

“The discussions are to take over a section of the estate, to share in the operations. The plan is for them to continue with the production of cane but the final by-product may not necessarily be in brown sugar,” he pointed out.

The Minister said he is very optimistic that the investors will come on board, noting that the Government is fully committed to ensuring that the factory remains open.

The Government took over the operations at Long Pond earlier this year in an effort to harvest 95,000 tonnes of cane.

 

Everglades Farms Limited had indicated that it was not in a position to start up the factory due to financial constraints.