Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
EWARTON, St Catherine:
Several business operators and residents in and around Cotton Piece, Ewarton, St Catherine have welcomed the news that Windalco will not cease its Ewarton operations.
Mining and Energy Minister, Phillip Paulwell announced in the House of Representatives yesterday that UC Rusal would not be closing the plant.
An overjoyed Yvonne Harris, owner and operator of Paulette's Restaurant, said over the past months business has been slow and she was hopeful that activities at the UC Rusal operated company would return to its former days.
"I am happy it's not gonna close down again and I hope things can go back to what it was before and the support will pick up," she told The Gleaner.
In an effort to create employment, in April this year, Nicholas Lyn began operating Best Jerk, where in addition to jerked chicken and jerked pork, he sells lunches.
"Like when I sell box food, most of the people who support me are workers at Windalco, some used to credit and pay month end, so I am happy now that the company won't close down again and I expect more workers to come in now," he said.
Avis Henry, bartender at Mid West Bar in Cotton Piece was ecstatic about the news that the bauxite company will keep its doors open.
"I am very happy that the company will remain open because my son used to work there and my daughter benefits from their educational programme," Henry said.
A female resident in her thirties living in Cotton Piece commended the Government and UC Rusal for ensuring that the company remains opened.
"We used to go to the hospital, the police station, schools and clean down the windows ... clean up the hospital and so on at Christmas time, and Windalco give wi a little money. I want to know if now that they are not closing down if this still gonna continue giving us that money," she questioned.
Alumina refining at both Windalco plants at Kirkvine, Manchester and Ewarton, St Catherine ceased in 2009. Operations at the Alpart plant at Nain, St Elizabeth also ceased in 2009.
Both the Kirkvine and Alpart operations have remained closed since. The Ewarton refinery was reopened in July 2010.