Clarendon Alumina Production Limited, CAP, has repaid all its outstanding debt to the alumina partner Noble Group, amounting to US$135.7 million.
The Jamaican Government indicated last month that it planned to repay the funds, but gave no precise timeline.
However, in a notice to shareholders this week, Noble Group Holdings Limited said: “Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Noble Resources International Pte Ltd, has received full repayment of the loan and interest outstanding under the prepayment facility agreement with CAP.”
“The aggregate amount received was US$135.7 million,” Noble said.
Jamalco is CAP’s primary asset. Clarendon Alumina Production holds 45% of the refinery on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, while Hong Kong-based Noble Group holds 55% via subsidiary General Alumina Jamaica.
The capital-intensive operation is funded by both parties, under which they mine bauxite and then refine it into alumina at the plant-based in Hayes, Clarendon, with Noble as an operating partner.
The debt repayment surfaces the way for the incorporation and the eventual initial public offering, IPO, of the Jamalco alumina refinery on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. The transaction will satisfy a commitment given by Jamaica that it would divest the loss-making CAP via the stock market.
On 14th September, Noble will further update investors on the restructuring of Jamalco and its listing.
The loan to CAP dates back to 2013 when the company entered into a US$120-million arrangement with Noble to repay amounts CAP owed to then joint-venture partner Alcoa. The loan paid off CAP’s portion of the working capital debt to Alcoa and also funded further shortfalls that were expected over the medium term as the alumina market was depressed. The repayment of the debt by Government is expected to reduce the national debt by one per cent.
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