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Published On: Fri, Jul 25th, 2014

Committee dismisses alleged ALSCON asset stripping

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By Etuka Sunday

The National Council on Privatization (NCP)’s Fact-Finding Committee on Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) yesterday dismissed the allegation of asset stripping against UC Rusal –owners of the company.

The committee however disclosed that the ALSCON’s machines and structures were intact.

A statement by the Head, Public Communications, BPE, Chigbo Anichebe said after an assessment tour of the multi-million naira plant on Monday, July 20, 2014 in Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Emmanuel Amadi disclosed that what was construed as

asset stripping was the disposal of scraps, non-liquid assets, faulty and inactive equipment and their parts by UC Rusal. He named these as: spent anode butts, anode stems and yokes, aluminum

metal pads, cathode and anode busbar, coke and pitch for anode production and cathode bars.

Amadi who led two other members of the NCP; Mohammed Abubakar and Benson Upah on the visit expressed displeasure over the closure of the plant and urged the management to quickly develop and submit to the government, a business plan with timelines to keep the plant functional.

He called for industrial harmony between the management of ALSCON as its absence could jeopardize smooth operations of the company. The Chairman while appealing to the management of the company to reconsider recalling some of the sacked union officials revealed that the committee would immediately present the report of its findings to the NCP to take the next action.

Earlier, Managing Director UC Rusal, Dmitriy Zaviyalov had informed the committee members that the falling prices of aluminum metals in the global market and lack of gas supply to the company were hampering the operations of the plant.

He said that from 2007-2012, Rusal had invested N24.54bn into the plant but due to teething problems, it suspended production in March 2013.The MD added that since takeover, it utilized only 11 percent of its production capacity and that during the period, it experienced six disruptions of gas supply. Zaviyalov said that management decided to sell the plant’s scraps and non-liquid assets to get additional income for survival, especially payment of staff salaries and supplying five megawatts of power to the company’s host community.

 

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