02 Jun JISCO ALPART Readies for a New Chapter
May 27, 2017, Kingston, Jamaica: Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips and Peoples National Party Spokesperson on Mining & Energy, Phillip Paulwell, supported by a delegation, toured the soon to reopen JISCO ALPART bauxite/ alumina plant in St. Elizabeth Friday.
After eight years of dormancy at ALPART, the touring team was heartened to see the results of the successful negotiations they initiated as Government close to three years ago as a means to drive growth in the economy.
Managing Director, Mr. Liu Wanxiang and his team at JISCO ALPART, in welcoming Dr. Phillips and his team, extended sincere thanks for establishing the partnership for this significant investment.
Dr. Phillips while pleased with the buzz of activity at the plant, revived discussions surrounding employment, community engagement and environmental impact with the JISCO team. The plant will accommodate just over 1000 employees at various levels, with 700 being Jamaican.
The Leader of the Opposition indicated that he hoped the JISCO team also focused on employing a range of Jamaicans including skilled and specialised labour and would work hand in hand with locals to transfer knowledge where possible. He reiterated the need for focus on sound environmental practices by the new stewards and was happy to learn from Mr. Patrick James, JISCO Assistant Managing Director, of the plans already underway in that respect.
Dr. Phillips also commended the former Minister of Technology, Mining and Energy, Phillip Paulwell, on having the foresight to seek out the new partners and negotiate a contract that stands to offer substantial benefits to the Jamaican economy.
Paulwell in his capacity as a Minister within the former PNP government, negotiated the release of the then ALPART from a stagnant contract and identified and established a new partnership with JISCO that will, by extension, rejuvenate several surrounding communities in the parishes of St. Elizabeth and Manchester. As communities in Manchester and St. Elizabeth suffered greatly with the closure of the plant in 2008.
Len Blake, Head of the St. Elizabeth Community Development Committee (CDC) expressed resounding approval at the return of the plant to functionality.
The JISCO ALPART plant will be fully operational by the end June 2017. Wanxiang told his visitors that JISCO will ultimately invest US$2B to double the existing capacity of the plant. This will be the most significant foreign direct investment in Jamaica since the country gained independence in 1962.
The delegation led by Dr. Peter Phillips, included Phillip Paulwell as well as Members of Parliament Mikael Phillips and Evon Redman, Councillor Layton Smith, Chief of Staff Imani Duncan-Price and Businessman Chris Cargill.