A framework Co-operation Agreement was signed among the Government of Jamaica, Jiuquan Steel Company (JISCO) and China Development Bank on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Under the Project, alumina production is scheduled to re-start at ALPART in St. Elizabeth; plans are also afoot to establish a smelter plant utilizing the most cost effective and environmentally friendly energy solution. At a later date, plans will be put in place for the expansion of the adjoining Port Kaiser to accommodate large vessels.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Mike Henry noted that Jamaica enjoyed a cordial relationship with the People’s Republic of China and that their presence in the island was an indication that they had ‘caught the vision and are now fully on board in a mutual effort to realize the Jamaican dream as we march along to prosperity’.
Continuing, the Minister said, “your presence here today is a testimony of profound importance; it tells us that your support for the infrastructural development projects being undertaken by the Government of Jamaica, with investment support from the Chinese is unwavering. The Government is committed to removing the obstacles of bureaucracy that have so often stymied the development process.”
For his part, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica Niu Quingbao noted that the project would see the spending of almost US$3B in five to six years.
“This project is endorsed by the Chinese Government … and my presence also means that I endorse it”, the Ambassador explained.
Also speaking at the signing ceremony was Chairman of JISCO Chen Chunming who highlighted the fact that JISCO would work to overcome whatever challenges present during its implementation.
“China has the most advanced alumina processing techniques in the world; I can promise you that we will bring the most environmentally friendly techniques along with energy solutions,” he emphasized.
The China Development Bank who is helping to finance the project has already pumped US$50M in acquiring ALPART and as at August, 2016, had provided financial support to projects in Jamaica totaling approximately US$545.5M.