Chi­nese alu­mina com­pany takes con­trol of Al­part

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA -

Min­is­ter of Trans­port and Min­ing Mike Henry (cen­tre) as­sists in the sym­bolic pass­ing of the Al­part own­er­ship ba­ton from UC Rusal’s chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer, Alexey Gordy­mov (left) to Chen Chun­ming, chair­man of the Chi­nese com­pany Ji­quan Iron and Steel. The cer­e­mony was held last Thurs­day at the Al­part plant at Nain, St El­iz­a­beth.

Alu­mina Part­ners of Ja­maica (Al­part) in Nain, St El­iz­a­beth, was of­fi­cially handed over to the Chi­nese com­pany Ji­quan Iron and Steel (JISCO) last Thurs­day with pro­duc­tion set to be­gin within the next six months.

The plant, which was pre­vi­ously owned and op­er­ated by the Rus­sian com­pany UC Rusal, is ex­pected to gen­er­ate be­tween 800 and 1,000 jobs.

Speak­ing at the han­dover cer­e­mony at the site, Min­is­ter of Trans­port and Min­ing Mike Henry, said the new own­ers have al­ready agreed to the ra­tio of em­ploy­ment be­tween Ja­maicans and ex­pa­tri­ates, with lo­cal cit­i­zens to get most of the jobs.

The min­is­ter noted that some jobs will be new and some will be re­in­stated, as in the pre­vi­ous op­er­a­tions, and that the ra­tio of job al­lo­ca­tions will be 70 per cent Ja­maicans and 30 per cent ex­pa­tri­ates.

He pointed out that the planned start-up of op­er­a­tions in six months has opened up a range of op­por­tu­ni­ties for cit­i­zens in south­ern Ja­maica.

“I have seen how they (Al­part) treat their staff and how they de­velop the whole com­mu­nity. I have seen the im­por­tance of how they deal with wa­ter to de­velop the plains of St El­iz­a­beth,” he added.

Henry said JISCO will also be en­sur­ing that mined-out lands are re­turned to the res­i­dents of the parish, in or­der for them to utilise those prop­er­ties for agricultural pro­duc­tion and other pur­poses.

PROM­ISE TO ABIDE BY JA­MAICAN LAWS

Mean­while, Chair­man of JISCO Chen Chun­ming, who spoke through an in­ter­preter, said his com­pany will abide by Ja­maican busi­ness laws and will be up­hold­ing the in­ter­ests of the coun­try.

Also speak­ing at the cer­e­mony was China’s Am­bas­sador to Ja­maica, His Ex­cel­lency Niu Qing­bao, who said JISCO was ea­ger to ex­pand into man­u­fac­tur­ing and the farm­ing of mined-out lands.

He said the deal was a land­mark in Ja­maicaChina re­la­tions, which would help to strengthen that re­la­tion­ship.

Pro­duc­tion at the plant was halted in 2009 in the af­ter­math of the global re­ces­sion and a drop in metal prices.

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