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Nov 03, 2020 18:24 EEST
November 3 (SeeNews) - Bosnia's ailing aluminum producer Aluminij restarted production after a 15-month pause thanks to an agreement with an Israeli-Chinese partner signed earlier this year, local media reported.
The official start of production is announced for the beginning of November but the first logs have already been rolled out, public broadcaster BHRT reported last week, citing unofficial information.
In the beginning of October 82 workers were engaged in the preparations to restart production at Aluminij's foundry plant, which is the first unit to go back online, the report said.
In April, Aluminij Industries d.o.o. - a newly established Bosnian subsidiary of Israel's M.T. Abraham Group and its partners, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. (NFC), signed an agreement with Aluminij for a long-term lease of the Bosnian company's production assets, opening the way for production restart.
Aluminij Industries has already signed contracts for the supply of raw material and sale of aluminium products, planning to produce 3,000 tonnes of aluminium logs in the first two months after the restart of production, BHRT reported.
In 2021, Aluminij is expected to roll out 50,000 tonnes of products.
The new employer plans to hire further 90 workers by the end of January, lifting their overall number to 170.
For the time being, the restart of Aluminij's anode and electrolysis plants has been put off until the investor secures the supply of electricity and other raw materials at acceptable prices.
Last month, Aluminij Industries signed a strategic partnership deal with Dubai-based global commodity trading group Advaita, which agreed to buy half of Aluminij's output in the next ten years.
Aluminij halted operations in July 2019 after its power supply was cut off due to swelling unpaid bills. Following the shutdown, Bosnia's Federation government decided that Aluminij should continue to operate and come up with a rescue plan by the end of 2019.
The Federation government controls 44% of Aluminij, followed by the government of neighbouring Croatia with 12%, with the remainder owned by smaller shareholders. The Federation is one of two autonomous entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Serb Republic.
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