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Story Highlights

  • Russian alumina giant, UC Rusal, on Monday (September 7) announced a full resumption of operations at Alpart in St. Elizabeth.
  • The resumption of operations follows the closure of the Nain plant in May 2009, due to high production costs, resulting from the worldwide financial meltdown in 2008.
  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who was hand for the announcement, said it was “a very good day” for residents of nearby communities.

Russian alumina giant, UC Rusal, on Monday (September 7) announced a full resumption of operations at Alpart in St. Elizabeth.

Country manager for UC Rusal in Jamaica, Igor Dorofeev, made the announcement at the official opening of the UC Rusal Alpart Jamaica Bauxite Export Project at the Port Kaiser refinery, where of 35,000 tons of bauxite were loaded for shipment.

The resumption of operations follows the closure of the Nain plant in May 2009, due to high production costs, resulting from the worldwide financial meltdown in 2008.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who was hand for the announcement, said it was “a very good day” for residents of nearby communities.

“What we are seeing here is a return of vibrant activities to both South East St. Elizabeth and South East Manchester, and where our people can find quality employment and be prosperous,” he pointed out.

“This is the first major activity coming out of Alpart in six years. I am very pleased to see that all the plans we have had are unfolding, including the outsourcing of a lot of its work to local contractors,” he added.

Mr. Paulwell said Russia and Jamaica have had an excellent relationship over the years and “what we are seeing here today is a testament of that friendship and one that we know will continue to grow. It’s the first time a company shipping bauxite from Jamaica is paying the full levy. This again is a testament to the commitment of Rusal to its Jamaica operations.”

He noted that UC Rusal is the largest Russian enterprise in the Caribbean and the company has given a commitment “that this operation here at Alpart will be a major part of their empire.”

 

Mr. Paulwell also thanked the local Alpart workers for their “unwavering support and belief in their country”, noting that even though the plant has been closed for six years, it has been fully maintained.

“It is also clear to me that the relationship between the company (Rusal) and the community is a good one. The community has been experiencing a major drought and I see where Alpart has been providing water to provide invaluable support,” he said.

Both South East St. Elizabeth Member of Parliament, Richard Parchment and his South Manchester counterpart and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peart, also thanked the Alpart team for staying the course and providing much-needed jobs to the people of both communities.