Rusal to Halt 70,000 Tons of Output at World War II-Era Smelter

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- United Co. Rusal, the largest maker of aluminum, plans to halt a Siberian smelting line built during World War II that’s too old to modernize to increase efficiency.

“The company is studying a plan and the timelines to close the first production site at the smelter,” Rusal said today by e-mail. The line built in 1942 has a 70,000 metric-ton capacity.

The line in Novokuznetsk makes up 1.5 percent of Rusal’s aluminum capacity and employs about 550, who will move to other sites. Lost production will be regained when Rusal starts the Boguchansk smelter in Krasnoyarsk region next year, it said.

Aman Tuleyev, governor of Kemerovo region where the line is located, asked Rusal to close its smelter’s oldest facilities as they damage the environment, his press office said yesterday on its website. Rusal is studying cutting 300,000 to 600,000 tons of smelting output, or 6.4 percent to 13 percent of capacity, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Oleg Mukhamedshin said in May.

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