On 30 July the Jamaican government and the Chinese company Complant signed documents to divest the final three sugar estates under the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ): Monymusk, Bernard Lodge and Frome.
The Jamaican Minister of Agriculture said the deal has two parts; one is the purchase of the estates and the leasing of some 30,000 hectares with a price tag of around USD 10 million; the other to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a 200,000-tonne refinery and an ethanol plant. Complant operates in other sectors as well, and in Jamaica has built the Trelawny Stadium and a convention centre in Montego Bay.
The sale will be effective at the end of the 2010-2011 harvest which allows Jamaica to deliver 100,000 tonnes of sugar of a forward sale agreement with Tate & Lyle.
Complant says it operates six sugar companies on leasing contracts: the Save Sugar Complex in Benin, Anie Sugar in Togo and Magbass Sugar in Sierra Leone, all in West Africa; and three factories in Madagascar, the Ambilobe, Namakia and Morondava. Complant controls some 200,000 tonnes of sugar per year, with half of it exported to the European Union.