Russia's Rusal gets bauxite levy waived in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaica has agreed to waive a bauxite levy at Russian aluminum giant UC Rusal's last operational plant on the island.

As part of the one-year concessionary pact, Rusal will maintain its workforce of 600 workers at its Ewarton Alumina Refinery.

A Rusal spokeswoman said Wednesday that the company also plans to build a coal-fired plant at the site.

Jamaican Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell says this will be a $100 million investment. He says construction on the coal-fired plant will begin next year.

Earlier this year, Paulwell announced that Rusal was planning to close Ewarton for a year.

There has been a sharp drop in bauxite operations since the global economic recession. The Russian company shut down two other Jamaican bauxite plants in 2009 after the economic crisis hit demand.