The Russian-based alumina giant, UC Rusal, says it will resume full resumption of its operations at Alpart following its partial closure in 2009.
UC Rusal country manager in Jamaica, Igor Dorofeev, made the announcement at last week’s official opening of the UC Rusal Alpart Jamaica Bauxite Export Project, where of 35,000 tons of bauxite were loaded for shipment.
The resumption follows the closure of the Nain plant in May 2009, due to high production costs, resulting from the worldwide financial meltdown in 2008.
“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,” said Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell.
“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.
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.”
Paulwell 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.”