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Bosnia Indebted Aluminij Threatens to Close Down on July 6

Metal News - Published on Fri, 05 Jul 2019

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Reuters reported that Aluminij Mostar, Bosnia’s sole aluminium smelter said that it would halt production on July 6 unless the regional government helped the heavily-indebted and loss-making company stay afloat. General manager Drazen Pandza told reporters that “This company will most likely close down on Saturday - only a miracle can help us.”

Aluminij, among Bosnia’s biggest exporters, has been in trouble for years over debt accumulated because of high alumina and electricity prices.

The company is 44% owned by the government of Bosnia’s autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, with small shareholders holding another 44 percent and the Croatian government the remainder.

Aluminij, which employs 900 workers, has been trying to reach a deal with the regional government on subsidised electricity prices. Its closure would put at risk some 10,000 jobs, taking into account its contractors and the aluminium processing firms it supplies with the metal.

But the government has warned that its future support would depend on an audit of Aluminij’s operations it had commissioned. It also said that any state aid in the form of subsidised power prices was out of question because of open market regulations.

Last week, it launched talks with a consortium led by London-listed miner and commodity trader Glencore, focusing on a possible restructuring of Aluminij but no deal has been reached.

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Posted By : Ratan Singh on Fri, 05 Jul 2019
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