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RUSAL mulls restart of aluminium smelter in Nigeria

Rusal mulls restart of aluminium smelter in Nigeria

Russian aluminium producer, Rusal, and the Nigerian government are discussing possible restart of the smelter Alscon in Nigeria which was suspended as loss-making 10 years ago, Rusal said on Friday.

Alscon produced 22,000 tonnes of aluminium in 2012, 11% of its annual production capacity, before Rusal suspended it in early 2013 due to the lack of reliable gas supply and low aluminium prices.

Nigeria’s vice president, Kashim Shettima, met Rusal’s management on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg this week as the Nigerian government is taking efforts to reactivate production at Alscon, his office said in a statement.

“The sooner we get this plant back to production, the better for everyone. We need to walk the talk; the Nigerian people deserve better,” Shettima was quoted as saying in the statement.

Rusal, which produced 3.8 million tonnes of aluminium in 2022, confirmed the discussions but did not provide any further detail.

It owns 85 percent of Alscon, while the remaining stake belongs to the Nigerian government.

Whay do you know about Rusal?

RUSAL (Russian: РУСАЛ, short for “Russian Aluminium”) was one of the largest aluminum producers in the world.

Here are some key points about RUSAL:

Company Profile: RUSAL was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Moscow, Russia. It was the result of a merger between several Russian aluminum assets. The company’s operations covered the entire aluminum production process, including bauxite and alumina mining, as well as aluminum smelting and fabrication.

Global Presence: RUSAL had a significant global presence, with operations and assets in various countries across Europe, Asia, and America. The company owned and operated a number of aluminum smelters, alumina refineries, and bauxite mines.

Key Figures: RUSAL’s controlling shareholder was En+ Group, a Russian energy company. Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire, was associated with the company and had a significant ownership stake in En+ Group.

Sanctions: In recent years, RUSAL faced challenges due to international sanctions. In April 2018, the United States imposed sanctions on RUSAL, En+ Group, and other related entities as part of its response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.

These sanctions targeted certain individuals and entities associated with the Russian government and imposed restrictions on their ability to conduct business with U.S. entities.

Impact of Sanctions: The U.S. sanctions had significant consequences for RUSAL’s operations and financial stability. They resulted in disruptions to its supply chain, financial difficulties, and challenges in accessing international markets.

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