Alscon, an 85%-owned subsidiary of Russia’s UC Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, has announced plans to suspend operations at its smelting plant in Ikot Abasi, Nigeria, in wake of legal challenges and falling aluminum demand. Rusal had been previously covering plant losses anticipating sustainable gas supplies could restore full capacity, according to company officials, but a Nigerian Supreme Court ruling to cancel Alscon share sales to Rusal and falling global aluminum prices have stalled long-term contracts and development.
Alscon will continue generating electricity while seeking out gas delivery—in addition to pursuing judicial affirmation from Lagos that Rusal is the rightful owner of Alscon. Company officials have added they remain committed to minimizing problems for personnel and the local communities of Ikot Abasi, Nigeria.
While keeping the power plant in operation, moreover, company officials said they will provide financial compensation for terminated employees under a collective agreement; other guarantees include the right for Alscon workers to remain in their housing projects, along with commitments to community education, health care and youth support initiatives.