RusAl threatens to close Ukrainian plant over high electricity charges

The world’s largest aluminum maker, Russia’s RusAl, may close its Ukrainian plant, the country’s only aluminum producer, over high electricity prices, RusAl said on Monday.

“The problem with diversified tariffs for Zaporozhye Aluminum Smelter (ZALK) has not been solved, the plant keeps generating losses, which RusAl has to cover at the expense of the company’s other subsidiaries. As a result, RusAl had to raise prices for the plant’s products in March to make it loss-free. After the price was increased it became uncompetitive,” RusAl said in a statement.

The plant, privatized in 2000, has made a loss in the past few years due to high power tariffs. The government removed a special low electricity tariff for ZALK in 2005 and the company has repeatedly said it needed to return to the previous price.

The plant, in central Ukraine, cut aluminum output to 50,000 tonnes in 2009 from 112,800 in 2008, then reduced it further to about 25,000 tonnes in 2010.


MOSCOW, April 11 (RIA Novosti) 

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