BY AVIA COLLINDER Business reporter email@example.com Friday, February 12, 2016
Owners of UC Rusal have signed an agreement with a Chinese firm for the purchase of Alumina Partners of Jamaica (ALPART), a bauxite mining and alumina processing plant located at Nain, St Elizabeth, in the south of Jamaica.
|Alpart in Nain, St Elizabeth|
Reliable sources said yesterday that – in a process likely to be concluded by the third quarter of 2016 – the price had been agreed on and that the Chinese company will now enter into its due diligence phase before the financial year closes later this year.
The source said that full-scale reopening of the plant would mean employment and inflows from the bauxite levy. No development plans were mentioned at this stage.
Other sources have named the Chinese company as Jiuquan Iron & Steel (Group) Co Ltd (JISCO) – a producer of carbon steel, stainless & special steel and steelmaking raw materials — as the buyer. Alpart’s current production capacity is approximately 1.7 million tonnes of alumina annually. It is capable of expansion to more than two million tonnes per annum.
|Alpart in Nain, St. Elizabeth|
The company was first established in the early 1960s, starting with a union of three companies (Anaconda, Kaiser Aluminium and Reynolds Metals). Since then it has undergone several partnership and ownership changes, the last of which took place in 2011, resulting in the company being 100 per cent owned by UC Rusal Ltd.
In September 2011, UC Rusal inked a deal to acquire the remaining 35 per cent stake in Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart), giving it full ownership of the St Elizabeth-based refinery.
However, hampered by the global economic recession and soaring energy costs, the Alpart plant was shut down in early 2009.
Nevertheless, in September 2015, UC Rusal announced a full resumption of operations.
As it turns out, Rusal, which produces aluminium, continues to be affected by sliding metal prices. more