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 percent 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.