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Paulwell to give update on Alpart and Kirkvine reopening

Published:Monday | April 15, 2013 | 10:48 AM

Energy Minister, Phillip Paulwell, is to report to the country on an energy solution to facilitate the reopening of the Alpart and Kirkvine bauxite plants when he speaks in the 2013-2014 Sectoral Debate.

For months, the Government has been engaged in negotiations with Russian-based aluminium company, UC Rusal, for the resumption of operations at the facilities, which closed in 2009.

Addressing a sitting of the Standing Finance Committee last week, Paulwell said that the high cost of energy had been a major issue affecting the reopening of the plants.

He disclosed that UC Rusal is to go ahead with plans to construct coal electricity generating system for its Ewarton plant at a cost of US$100 million.

But the energy minister said UC Rusal has indicated that another kind of energy solution would be needed to get the Alpart and Kirkvine bauxite plants back in operation.

The Ewarton plant faced the prospect of closure last year but that was avoided following the intervention of the government.

The government and US Rusal signed a Bauxite Levy Concession Agreement which required the company to maintain its staff level as well as its production capacity of 300 thousand tons per annum.


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