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Spanish Town Economic Zone operator gets nod for lubricants plant

Published:Friday | December 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
In this October 28, 2015 photo, Executive Director of Masada Jamaica Limited Dr Bob Melamede (left) signs the memorandum of understanding for the creation of the Spanish Town Economic Zone. Chairman of the Logistics Hub Task Force Dr Eric Deans is at centre and Managing Director of GulfRay America's Manufacturing, Martin Scott, is at right.

GulfRay Americas Manufacturing Limited plans to build a lubricants plant in the Spanish Town Economic Zone, according to documents obtained under the Access to Information (ATI) law.

Government officials gave approval for the project last month.

GulfRay plans to import petroleum and synthetic oils for blending to produce a variety of lubricants for packaging and sale to the automotive, industrial and marine sectors locally and overseas, according to the state run National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) in a permit accessed by the Financial Gleaner.

The company's plans include a warehouse for storage and four large blenders, which are projected to produce 110,000 litres of lubricants daily. The plant will also have raw material storage capacity of 208,000 litres, the document said.

GulfRay was not reached for comment as its local number rang without answer. Jampro, the Government's marketing arm, expressed its willingness to facilitate a response, but none came up to press time.

The NEPA document explains that the lubricants produced would include brake fluid, radiator coolant, quenchol, hydraulic fluid, refrigeration compressor oil, gear oils, automatic transmission fluid, multipurpose grease and marine oils.

NEPA's published legal decisions up to October indicated that Gulfray received "environmental permit for construction and operation of facilities for hydrocarbon production, refining, storage and stockpiling" at 8 March Pen Road in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

Last year, GulfRay and its joint-venture partner China National Automotive Industry International Corporation (CNAICO), a subsidiary of China National Machinery Industry Corporation, announced a US$350-million investment into the planned Spanish Town Economic Zone - the STEZ - which includes the construction of a motor vehicle assembly plant. The investors, both of which are based overseas, offered a three-year timeline for the project.

In October, another company called Nostic Manufacturing & Agricultural Limited announced it would be manufacturing cigarettes from the Spanish Town zone.

The GulfRay lubricants plant would be the third such outfit for Jamaica, the others being LSC Jamaica, which operates in Clarendon and is expanding to Kingston, and the Paramount/

Allegheny plant, which is now being developed.

"This permit is specifically for the petroleum distribution component which includes the import of base oils (petroleum and synthetic), which are then blended to produce a variety of lubricants for packaging and sale to the automotive, industrial and marine sectors locally and overseas," said the NEPA permit.

GulfRay and its local and international partners have created a company called Masada Jamaica Limited to handle the operations at the Spanish Town Economic Zone.

The zone is eventually expected to include the lubricants plant, the car and bus assembly plant, auto parts remanufacturing and distribution, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturing, and personal care products.

The Financial Gleaner is yet to come across any other planning approvals for projects in the zone.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com