17 Aug 2009 11:22

RUSAL smelters unaffected by Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroplant accident

KRASNOYARSK. Aug 17 (Interfax) - Aluminum plants run by Oleg Deripaska's United Company RUSAL (UC RUSAL) smelters were not affected by a major accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric dam in the early hours of Monday, which local emergency ministry officials said killed at least seven people and injured eight others.

"They quickly received electricity from other regions," RUSAL spokeswoman Vera Kurochkina told Interfax.

Part of the dam caved in and a turbine house was flooded after two sluices were damaged at 8:13 a.m. local time.

The officials said there were no indications of an explosion and that hydraulic impact was the likely cause of the accident.

The main body of the dam is intact.

The power plant supplies electricity to RUSAL's Sayan and Khakas smelters in the immediate vicinity and to the Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk smelters slightly further away.

A source with knowledge of the situation at the smelters said the voltage at the Khakas and Sayan smelters was maintained and that it fell at the Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk smelters after electricity from the Krasnoyarsk and Mainskaya hydroelectric dams was diverted to the Khakasia-based plants, however the smelters are operating as normal.

Ferroalloy maker Kuznetsk Ferroalloys said it was unaffected by the Sayano-Shushenskaya accident. The Evraz Group was not immediately available for comment.