Coal power plant to be built by Jiuquan Iron & Steel for alumina production at Nain, St Elizabeth , Jamaica

In February 2017 it seemed that the Chinese company Jiuquan Iron & Steel would build a 1000 MW coal power plant at the Alpart bauxite-alumina factory. Opposition arose. Bauxite mining might also become contentious.


This is a conflict on a coal fired power plant, and at the same time could become a conflicts on bauxite mining.  In July 2016 it was reported (4) that "Russian mining company signed a deal for the US$300-million sale of its 1.6-million-tonne Alpart alumina refinery in Jamaica to China’s Jinquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO). In a separate pact with the Jamaican Government, JISCO agreed to the rehabilitation and expansion of the plant and its conversion to 500,000-tonne-a-year aluminium smelter. The inking of the agreements happened in Beijing, where Jamaica’s mining minister, Mike Henry, and his energy colleague Andrew Wheatley have been having talks with Rusal, JISCO, as well as the Development Bank of China. The bank, according to Gleaner Business sources, has signalled a willingness to commit, over the next several years, up to US$2 billion to the project. An abundance of cheap energy is a critical ingredient in aluminium smelting, and its absence in Jamaica has been a barrier to the country’s ambition to convert its bauxite through all the stages to the production of the metal. After 2008, Alpart refinery was mothballed for seven years in face of a soft market for alumina " (4).

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Basic Data
Name Coal power plant to be built by Jiuquan Iron & Steel for alumina production at Nain, St Elizabeth , Jamaica
SiteSt Elizabeth
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Tailings from mines
Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIn July 2016, the Jamaican Government announced the sale of the old Alpart bauxite plant at Nain in St. Elizabeth to Jiuquan Iron & Steel Company Limited (JISCO) of China, as well as a 2 billion dollar investment in an industrial zone, powered by a 1000 megawatt (MW) coal-fired plant, creating 3,000 jobs.

This would be related to the energy needs of an enlarged Alpart bauxite/alumina factory. Alumina Partners of Jamaica, also known as Alpart, is a company that owns and operates a bauxite refinery in Nain, Jamaica.Alpart was founded in 1969 as a joint venture by Kaiser Aluminum, Reynolds Aluminum, and Anaconda.Alpart exported 1.65 million tonnes of alumina overseas per year, and earned gross revenues of US$1.3 billion in 2007. As of 2011, previous partner Hydro divested its 35% stake to RusAl which assumed 100% stake in Alpart. In 2016, UC Rusal sold 100% stake of the Alumina Partners of Jamaica (‘Alpart’) to the Chinese state industrial group, JIUQUAN IRON & STEEL (GROUP) Co. Ltd. (‘JISCO). (Wikipedia).’

After the economic crisis of 2008, "the loss of Alpart’s plant was a major blow to the economy, putting hundreds out of work ... However, now that Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company has begun operations at the plant again, the operation is expected to employ up to one thousand workers, with at least seventy percent of the force to be drawn from among Jamaican natives. In addition, JISCO has pledged to invest around US$2 billion to establish an industrial zone in the area, comprised of bauxite mines, an alumina refinery, a coal-fired power plant, electrical infrastructure, rolling mills, and value-added aluminium production. According to estimates, this secondary operation could lead to as many as three thousand more jobs."(3)
Level of Investment (in USD)2,000,000,000
Start Date2016
Company Names or State EnterprisesJiuquan Iron & Steel Company Limited (JISCO) from China
Alpart. Alumina Partners of Jamaica from Jamaica
International and Financial InstitutionsDevelopment Bank of China from China
Environmental justice organisations and other supporters#SayNOtoCoalJA initiative, led by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNegotiated alternative solution
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Project temporarily suspended
Development of Alternatives"It's LNG and not coal for Alpart plant". "A 230 MGW power plant using liquefied natural gas (LNG) is to be built to replace an aging and creaky, oil-based power plant. at Alpart". (6)
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Whatever the environmental effects of the upgrading of the Alpart factory, it seems that the power plant will not be fuelled by coal but by LNG. Seen locally as a victory.
Sources and Materials

29 May 2017 Jamaica Observer. JISCO's big plans for Alpart. GARFIELD MYERS
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(5) It's LNG and not coal for Alpart plant. November 03, 2017
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(6) Jamaica Observer. Alpart expands. 1st January 2018. Nain, St Elizabeth— Environmental protection and the return of mined lands to people will be among the priorities for government as expansion and redevelopment of the JISCO Alpart alumina plant takes place over the next few years, says Mining Minister Mike Henry.
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(1) By Desmond L. Brown. No to coal fired plant in Jamaica. 27 February 2017. KINGSTON, Jamaica (ACP-IDN).
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(4). Deal signed for Chinese company to take over alumina plant in Jamaica. July 21, 2016
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Rethink coal plan' - Environmentalists decry Nain plant proposal, gov't official also wary.
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Media Links

(2)'Only Coal Can Save Alpart’ – Davis. Tauna Thomas Aug 03, 2016, Midday News
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(3)Jamaican Businessman Touts Revival of Alpart’s Bauxite Operations as Blueprint for Local Investment . Aluminium Insider 4 July 2017.
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Nain power station. Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy.

A proposed 1,000-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica.
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Other Documents

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Last update21/03/2018