of the Alcoa-operated Portland aluminium smelter in Australia.
This smelter, built 20 years ago, operates successfully
close to local community and neighbouring farmlands.
Should the proposed aluminum smelter come to T&T it
would mean an automatic capital investment in Jamaica, according
to that countrys Minister of Industry, Commerce and
Technology Phillip Paulwell.
In an interview here in Washington DC, Paulwell said the
government of Jamaica was awaiting word from T&T on
whether the plant will come to fruition since it would mean
that Alcoas alumina operations in Jamaica will have
to be further expanded.
are waiting on word from the government of T&T because,
as you know, the proposal is if an aluminum plant is constructed
in T&T then the alumina will come in part from Jamaica
and that will require further investment in capacity,
Alcoa, which has proposed the aluminium smelter, also has
major alumina operations in Jamaica.
Alumina is used to make aluminium which is then further
processed into several products including vehicle parts,
household items and eve avionic parts.
The Government and Alcoa Inc Pittsburgh, the worlds
largest aluminium company, signed a memorandum of understanding
one year ago for the construction of a low-emission, environmentally
friendly aluminium smelter plant.
The new smelter plant and related facilities (including
a power plant, a new anode plant and downstream, opportunities)
are projected to cost in excess of US$1 billion.
BpTT has guaranteed the Government that the plant will have
the use of a specified amount of free gas for a 15-year
period. This natural gas will then be converted into low-cost
electricity for the smelter.
Alcoa will have 60 per cent ownership in the plant and the
remaining 40 per cent will be sold to investors by the National
Gas Companys subsidiary, the National Energy Company
of T&T. The aluminium, which will be processed at the
plant, will be imported from Suriname and Jamaica.
Sources on the Cabinet energy sub-committee have confirmed
that as of Monday the sub-committee had not received a final
proposal from Alcoa. They say it is clear that Alcoa has
invested a lot of time and effort in the project and they
expect that the company will eventually come to the Government
with their proposals which would likely contain requests
from the state.
The sources said they expected this to occur within the
next two months.
Paulwell also revealed that Jamaica will spend an estimated
US$100 million to immediately upgrade its refinery while
it will also be working on a project which would see a total
of US$400 million being spent on improving its refining