Long Pond Distillery fire destroys 65,000 litres of rumBy Melita Kiely
A fire has destroyed approximately 65,000 litres of fresh rum stocks at Jamaica’s Long Pond Distillery, which is co-owned by Maison Ferrand.
The fire started in the cane fields near the Long Pond Distillery at midday on 16 July and “quickly spread”, reaching part of the fermentation room and fresh rum stocks.
Though production materials and buildings were damaged, the distillery itself and the stills were unaffected, and no staff members were injured in the fire.
The distillery said that as of yesterday (17 July) the fire had been contained, apart from the bagasse (a dry, pulpy residue from the extraction of juice from sugar cane) dump at the sugar factory, which was still on fire. “Firefighters are working to bring it under control,” the company said in a statement.
“As we don’t store or age rum at Long Pond Distillery, the aged rum stock was not affected,” the statement continued. “We are currently assessing the full extent of the damages.”
Winston Harrison, CEO of National Rums of Jamaica, said: “In the middle of this difficulty, I know I can count on my team as well as our owners, the Jamaican government, Maison Ferrand and Demerara Distillers Ltd.
“We are all committed for Long Pond to distil again this one-of-a-kind rum as soon as possible.”
In 2017, Maison Ferrand acquired West Indies Rum, a Barbados distillery that became co-owner of National Rums of Jamaica, which owns the Clarendon Distillery and Long Pond Distillery.