The refinery is part of Windalco, which was mothballed in March 2009 due to the global economic downturn. Total capacity of the Ewarton refinery is about 650kt/y.

Rusal plans to produce about 32kt of alumina by the end of this year. As part of its cost efficiency programme, Rusal has taken action to ensure Ewarton’s operations restart with an enha-nced structure and production process, lower operating costs and improved efficiency.

The cost of bauxite mining has been reduced twice and Rusal has also decreased Ewarton’s maintenance costs. About 630 people will return to work at the refinery while dozens of others will benefit from the reopening.

Rusal cited positive trends in the global aluminium market, alongside agreements with the Jamaican government and the plant’s contractors as factors which have helped to improve Ewarton’s cost efficiency, enabling Rusal to restart the refinery.

Yakov Itskov, deputy CEO of its international alumina business, said: “Our Jamaican operations are an important part of the bauxite and alumina industry which plays a fundamental economic and social role in the country.”