21 Jul 2009 19:15

UC RUSAL to decide on resuming construction at Taishet plant in two months

MOSCOW. July 21 (Interfax) - Russia's United Company RUSAL intends to make a decision on resuming construction on the Taishet aluminum smelter in the Irkutsk region in the next two months, Oleg Deripaska, the company's main beneficiary and general director, told journalists on Tuesday.

Construction on the Taishet smelter has been suspended. UC RUSAL estimates that investment in the first phase of the plant with production capacity of 187,000 tonnes per year at $339 million. The company expects to receive the first metal from the smelter in 2011. UC RUSAL began carrying out the project in 2006 and the plant is 60% complete.

Deripaska said there are two options for resolving problems with energy supplies to the Taishet plant - the Boguchany Hydroelectric Power Plant , a project being carried out on an equal basis with RusHydro , or Irkutskenergo . He said if the Boguchany plant is built without any new consumers, it will have excess production capacity of 6,000-11,000 megawatts and will lead to the closure of combined heat and power plants as well as coal companies.

"Only the construction of the Boguchany and Taishet aluminum plants will guarantee the constant sale of electricity produced at the Boguchany Hydroelectric Power Plant," he said.

RusHydro and UC RUSAL are jointly building the Boguchany plant with installed capacity of 3,000 megawatts. Investment in the project totals some 54.93 billion rubles. The plant's first three hydro power units with capacity of about 600 megawatts are to be brought on stream in 2010. The plant will reach full production capacity in 2012.