Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
JAMAICA IS actively pursuing plans to combine with energy-rich countries to produce aluminium.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell said the dream of producing aluminium was now within Jamaica's grasp.
"I believe that by the end of September I will be able to speak far more definitively in relation to the energy solution for the bauxite alumina industry that will enable us to ship less ore and more value added," Paulwell disclosed at Wednesday's Jamaica House press briefing.
He said because the country was moving to solve its energy problem, "we can entice businesses in this area to look now at Jamaica as a place where you can do the full range of processing".
Additionally, Paulwell said the Government had identified companies that were prepared to discuss with Jamaica the "matter of equity in aluminium production elsewhere. That's one opportunity and we are going to follow that through."
The bauxite industry, which had been battered by the effects of the global economic meltdown, is yet to rebound.
There were nervous moments for workers in the sector earlier this month when reports of the pending closure of the US Rusal-operated Ewarton plant sent jitters through the St Catherine community. The plant provides jobs for nearly 600 people, mostly from Ewarton and neighbouring communities.
Subsequent reports from the company stated that no definitive plans had been made to close the local plant.