By Mike Etim, Uyo
Barely three weeks after it got a new management team to turn around its fortune, the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria Plc (ALSCON) in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom state, has shut down production.
In a terse statement signed by its Managing Director, Mr. Stanislau Kruglyashov and issued in Uyo yesterday, the company said the suspension of business was due to the ongoing crisis in global aluminum industry, further disruption of gas supply to ALSCON and the non-completion of its connection to the national grid.
To minimize losses, the statement said the company is taking some measures, including “further optimization of payroll, which foresees layoff of part of the staff currently employed at ALSCON. ALSCON will provide employees being affected with compensation benefits exceeding the level in accordance with the Nigerian law”.
In addition, the statement said: “At present, RUSAL is facing exceptionally tough market conditions and executing a production cuts programme approved by the board of directors of RUSAL in 2013, aimed at reduction of costs and minimization of losses. So far, within the framework of this programme, the company has reduced aluminum production at its less-efficient smelters across its territory of operations, including mothballing of smelting operations at five smelters in Russia and at ALSCON in Nigeria”.