ALSCON will require more than $500m to restart production – MD

“We have retained 108 Nigerian workers to run skeletal services at ALSCON in spite of the stoppage of production."

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ALSCON, require more than $500m, restart production, MDThe Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom, will require more than $500 million to restart production, its Managing Director, Mr Dmitriy Zaviyalov, said on Thursday.
Zaviyalov made this known during an interactive session with some journalists at the company’s premises in Ikot Abasi.
He also said that it would require government’s guarantee of uninterrupted gas supply, at an acceptable price, for ALSCON to restart operation.
He said that the company, which began operations in 2008, stopped production in 2013 due to lack of gas supply from the Nigeria Gas Company Limited (NGC).
According to him, the UC Rusal, a major shareholder in ALSCON, has put in well over $400 million since the company was privatised.
“The company temporarily packed up in 2013 following inadequate gas supply by the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC), which reportedly breached its agreement with the company,” he claimed.
Zaviyalov did not state how much the company lost during the period of production stoppage.
“I will not be able to call any figure now because I might be right or wrong.
“But, I estimate that the company, since its privatisation, has put in about $400 million and we need about $500 million to restart production in ALSCON,” he said.
According to Zaviyalov, ALSCON has never been a party to the Supreme Court’s judgement which ruled in favour of BFIGroup on Jan. 26.
He added that it secured judgment from the London Court of Arbitration which certified that ALSCON was properly privatised.
“You should understand that ALSCON is not a party to these suits in question. The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) approached the Supreme Court, taking the BFIGroup to Court.
“BPE is the representative of the Nigeria government that holds a small stake in ALSCON.
“Equally, you should understand that in our agreement with the Nigeria government, we agreed that the last Court of Arbitration will be the London Court of Arbitration.
“After the ruling of the Supreme Court, we approached the London Court of Arbitration and the court ruled in our favour; so we have the ruling from the London Court that ALSCON was properly privatised,” he said.
Zaviyalov said that ALSCON was in discussion with NGC to ensure that they resumed gas supply for the company to start production.
“The gas supply will soon return to ALSCON. There is progress toward getting gas to the company. We have met Vice President Kashim Shetima and he has given us that assurance,” he said.
Zaviyalov said that the company had a good relationship with the host community.
“We have retained 108 Nigerian workers to run skeletal services at ALSCON in spite of the stoppage of production.
“When production resumes at ALSCON, it will add value to the Nigerian economy as it will create more job opportunities,” he said.