Tajik Aluminium Plant Sees 2012 Output Up at 332,500 t
Tuesday 20 December 2011
DUSHANBE (Reuters) – Tajikistan Aluminium Company (TALCO), the largest producer of the metal in Central Asia, plans to boost output to 332,500 tonnes of primary aluminium in 2012 from this year’s expected 275,000 tonnes, a source close to the company’s management said on Tuesday.
TALCO (previously TadAZ) runs the largest aluminium manufacturing plant in Central Asia (the sixth largest in the world), and is Tajikistan’s chief industrial asset. It produces almost half a million tonnes of high quality aluminium annually for export mostly to the West, employing over 13,000 Tajiks and contributing around 60% of the country’s GDP.
Last year TALCO’s output fell by 2.9% year-on-year to 348,850 tonnes. “The technological upgrade and modernisation of the plant, which seriously reduced output this year, is now coming to an end, and more and more pots are being re-launched, which is seen by steadily rising monthly output,” the company official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
In January-November of this year TALCO reduced its output by 20.5% year-on-year to 253,629 tonnes. In November alone the company produced 22,181 tonnes of primary aluminium, 4.8% more than in the previous month, but 20.9% below the level of November 2010. “We hope that in 2013 TALCO will surpass the [annual production] level of 400,000 tonnes,” the source said.
The country has no native aluminium ore, so the raw material for the plant has to be imported. Construction of the plant proper began in 1972, and the first pouring of aluminium took place on 31 March 1975. It consumes 40% of the country’s electrical power. RUSAL, Russian metallurgical giant, is said to be investing in order of US $150 million into modernizing TALCO and increasing its production capacity.