Category Archives: RusAl

RusAl to Complete Environmental Upgrades on Irkutsk Smelter

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RusAl, the world’s biggest aluminum producer, will spend 368 million rubles ($11.4 million) to complete environmental upgrades on its Irkutsk smelter, the company announced this week.

The work will focus on modernizing gas treatment equipment at the refinery as seven electrostatic precipitators and six foam-type scrubbers are replaced in two of the facility’s potlines — long rows of huge electrolytic cells in which alumina is dissolved and aluminum produced.

The refit is scheduled to take place between 2013 and 2015. The new electrostatic precipitators will be 5 percent more efficient and will capture up to 99 percent of toxic emissions, RusAl said in a statement.

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Millhouse to Buy Norilsk Stock

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Millhouse will close a deal by early May to buy 5.39 percent in Norilsk Nickel from Interros and RusAl in an effort to end a conflict between the two main shareholders of the nickel producer. It was decided that both sides will sell Norilsk Nickel stock to Millhouse, which will serve as an arbiter. RusAl plans to close the deal by the end of April, a company spokesman said. All other parties in the transaction — Millhouse, Interros, and Norilsk Nickel — declined to comment.

An analyst said the end of the conflict between Norilsk Nickel’s owners was good news for investors, because it guaranteed consistent dividends, transparency and better corporate governance.

RusAl and Omen to Set Up JV

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Russian aluminum giant RusAl and Israeli auto components firm Omen High Pressure Die Casting (Omen) have signed a memorandum to create a joint venture in Russia to produce aluminum vehicle parts. Details of the project will be worked out by the two companies in the next three months.

The joint venture will be based on a production site at one of RusAl’s Aluminum Division West smelters. RusAl will supply liquid aluminum alloys and Omen will create cutting-edge automotive components production in accordance with the international standards. The joint venture auto components will be supplied to carmakers in Russia and the CIS.

The financing will be provided on a parity basis, with the option of external lending.

Penny Becomes Norilsk Chairman

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The shareholders of Norilsk Nickel reached a landmark deal with a former De Beers chief executive being elected as the nickel producer’s chairman. The nickel producer’s biggest shareholders, RusAl and Interros, received four seats on the new board each, while billionaire Roman Abramovich’s Millhouse got one representative. Norilsk Nickel also got four independent directors, including Gareth Penny, a former CEO of global diamond producer De Beers, who was later elected to chair the board. The structure of the board of directors is well-balanced, with all major shareholders being represented and independent directors present.

Having an independent director with international experience as a board chairman might strengthen investor confidence, given that Norilsk Nickel is a big company with a foreign listing.

RusAl Optimization Plans for 2013

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The world’s largest aluminum-maker, RusAl, announced plans to cut output by 7 percent this year. RusAl will reduce its annual production by 300,000 tons at its less efficient smelters this year. The plan envisages a dramatic adjustment to an initial program, which involved a gradual reduction of approximately the same production volumes over the next five years. The company initially planned to gradually cut output at four of its smelters by 275,000 tons by 2018, in line with its capacity optimization program adopted last year. RusAl said the intention to carry out a more dramatic cut had been driven by the company’s efforts to remain competitive.

RusAl’s closest rival, U.S.-headquartered Alcoa, announced in January last year that it would slash 12 percent of its smelting capacities globally in an effort to cut costs amid falling metal prices.

RusAl Office Raided by Investigators

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The central Moscow headquarters of aluminum giant RusAl were raided by investigators as part of allegations of massive tax evasion at its foil-making subsidiary. The materials uncovered during the raid will be added to the case files. The raid was based on “groundless claims” by tax authorities and the Investigative Committee against RusAl Foil and its management.

The Investigative Committee opened a probe into RusAl Foil chief executive Igor Kasyanov on suspicion that he evaded more than 200 million rubles in income and value-added taxes. Investigators suspect Kasyanov of providing fake information on RusAl Foil expenses attributed to its cooperation with a bogus firm purportedly used to evade taxes between 2008 and 2009.

RusAl Forecasts 6% Rise in Global Aluminum Demand

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RusAl, the world’s top aluminum producer, said that it expects 2013 global aluminum demand to rise 6 percent, fueled by investment in large-scale infrastructure projects in China.

However, the company cautioned that the European debt crisis would continue to weigh on aluminum prices in the short term.

Global primary aluminum consumption was expected to reach 50 million tons this year, the company said.

RusAl expected China to remain the largest growing market in 2013, with growth of 9.5 percent, followed by India  and North America.

The company’s aluminum output rose 1 percent in 2012 to 4.17 million tons, while alumina production fell 8 percent to 7.48 million tons.

About 1 million to 1.5 million tons of global aluminum production was expected to be idled in 2013.