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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 of conflict: Coal power plant to be built by Jiuquan Iron & Steel for alumina production at Nain, St Elizabeth , Jamaica
Location of conflict:St 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:Coal extraction and processing
Tailings from mines
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In 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.

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project2,000,000,000
Start of the conflict:2016
Company names or state enterprises:Jiuquan Iron & Steel Company Limited (JISCO) from China
Alpart. Alumina Partners of Jamaica from Jamaica
International and Finance InstitutionsDevelopment Bank of China from China
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:#SayNOtoCoalJA initiative, led by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Negotiated alternative solution
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Project temporarily suspended
Proposal and 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain: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 & Materials

(5) It's LNG and not coal for Alpart plant. November 03, 2017
[click to view]

29 May 2017 Jamaica Observer. JISCO's big plans for Alpart. GARFIELD MYERS
[click to view]

(1) By Desmond L. Brown. No to coal fired plant in Jamaica. 27 February 2017. KINGSTON, Jamaica (ACP-IDN).
[click to view]

(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.
[click to view]

(4). Deal signed for Chinese company to take over alumina plant in Jamaica. July 21, 2016
[click to view]

Rethink coal plan' - Environmentalists decry Nain plant proposal, gov't official also wary.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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.
[click to view]

(2)'Only Coal Can Save Alpart’ – Davis. Tauna Thomas Aug 03, 2016, Midday News
[click to view]

(3)Jamaican Businessman Touts Revival of Alpart’s Bauxite Operations as Blueprint for Local Investment . Aluminium Insider 4 July 2017.
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3405
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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