Growth in the bauxite and alumina trades will have added over one thousand new jobs to the Jamaican economy by year’s end according to the country’s Minister of Transport and Works.
Minister Mike Henry made the revelation in the course of remarks at Thursday’s 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives. He went on to say that St. Elizabeth’s Alpart refinery will require 250 Jamaicans to fill that number of temporary workers from the People’s Republic of China when they return to their country in June. The Jamaicans hired for those openings will be trained by the operating firm Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company Limited (JISCO), he explained.
In addition to the positions vacated by those temporary workers, fifty flights of young Jamaican workers are slated for training by JISCO to fill positions at the plant, which is scheduled to begin production during the latter half of the current year.
The plant is being rehabilitated in preparation for opening at present. The task, which initially required eighty permanent employees, now gainfully employs five hundred Jamaicans.
Henry told the legislative body that more projects related to the plant remain to be undertaken, including an upgrade of Alpart’s Port Kaiser facility. Such projects will require more Jamaican manpower as well, he said.
“They are going to build the second factory, to move to a 2,000-tonne (capacity) alumina refinery, all with attendant employment for another 500 permanent jobs,” said Henry.
He continued by saying that the expansion of Jamalco’s refinery in Clarendon will likely employ between 200 and 300 additional Jamaicans. The construction of a 120-mW plant is in the offing as well, he said, and is to be built by American firm New Fortress Energy. The plant, which is to operate using liquefied natural gas (LNG) “will dramatically increase profitability of the operations.”