Business

Windalco management optimistic about Rusal future

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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Management of UC Rusal local bauxite company, Windalco, is optimistic about the removal of sanctions against the Russian company after the US Treasury Department extended the deadline for US companies to stop doing business with Rusal.

The Treasury Department also said it could change its stance on sanctions against Rusal if billionaire businessman Oleg Deripaska gives up control. Deripaska is seen as close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and also had dealings with Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump's election campaign who is under federal indictment.

The sanctions have scared customers, suppliers and creditors who fear they too could be hit by sanctions through association with the company.

Other concerns stemmed from the potential closure of the company and its impact on jobs, the supply chain as well as worries of tighter aluminium supplies on the global market, sending prices of the metal soaring. Today, Rusal supplies about six per cent of the world's alumina through its global operations.

“We are doing our best, the company is running and even the sanctions have been softened. Maybe later on the sanctions will be released,” management of Windalco told the Jamaica Observer.

Jamaica sold its seven per cent stake in Windalco to UC Rusal in 2014 in settlement of debt owed to the Russian company. Windalco operates two plants at Ewarton in St Catherine and Kirkvine in Manchester with combined capacity of 1.28 million tonnes of alumina per year.

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