NewsWorldThe Slovalco aluminum smelter shuts down production, hundreds of...

The Slovalco aluminum smelter shuts down production, hundreds of people will lose their jobs. Her bond was broken by high electricity prices – Pravda

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Hlinikáreň Slovalco has decided to end the production of primary aluminum at its plant in Žiar nad Hronom. The decision to end the production of primary aluminum is a reaction to high electricity prices and insufficient compensation, which Slovalco and other energy-intensive companies have been pointing out for more than two years. Pravda, Eko 17.08.2022 08:00 Photo: TASR – Ján Krošlák Pictured from the left are Slovalco CEO Milan Veselý and Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulík (SaS) during the start-up of the new remelting furnace for aluminum process scrap at Slovalco in Žiar nad Hronom on June 14. 2022. With this investment, it also expands its involvement in the circular economy by recycling used aluminum from its customers. By purchasing aluminum scraps that are created in the production process at the customer and their subsequent remelting in Slovac, the already used aluminum is returned to the production process of new aluminum products. To date, however, the amendment to Act No. 414/2012 Coll. on emission allowance trading, which would establish a predictable framework and amount of compensation at the level of other industrialized EU countries. For the same reasons, Slovalco limited its production volume at the turn of 2021 and 2022 to the current 60 percent of production capacity. The process of decommissioning the remaining electrolysis furnaces will begin immediately and will be completed by the end of September 2022 at the latest. The company will inform about the end of production in a press release. Read more 300 people will lose their jobs in Slovac. It’s a disaster, responds Sulík. Budaj defends himself, talks about the campaign “Slovalco is one of the most ecological and modern aluminum works in the world and is one of the largest employers in the Banskobystrica region. That is also why we are sorry that the more than 70-year tradition of aluminum production in Žiar nad Hronom will come to an end due to the inaction of the government,” says the CEO of the Slovalco factory, Milan Veselý. “Hlinikáreň Slovalco is also a key supplier not only for Slovak but also for European companies. By shutting down production, Europe will be forced to import aluminum from countries such as China or Russia,” he adds. Read more Matovič’s department reacts to Sulík’s accusations, the reason being layoffs at the aluminum smelter Slovalco “Slovakia did not introduce a competitive EU framework for the compensation of indirect CO2 costs, which made it impossible for Slovalco to conclude a long-term contract for the supply of electricity. If Slovalco were to continue operating after 2022, given the current Slovak framework conditions and high electricity prices, it would suffer significant financial losses,” says Ola Sæter, head of Hydro’s primary production division and chairman of Slovalco’s board of directors. Considering the high electricity prices for 2023, the production of aluminum next year is economically unsustainable for Slovalco. In connection with the termination of production, the factory prematurely terminated all hedging operations in order to improve financial reserves for a potential restart of production in the event of a correction of electricity prices and the adoption of an amendment to the law, which will adjust the amount of compensation to a level comparable to other industrial EU countries. “The decision will affect up to 300 direct employees of the factory and more than a thousand external employees in the subcontracting chain, as the shutdown of production will also reduce the need to purchase services from suppliers in the region. At the moment, we are concentrating on the safe shutdown of production,” concludes Milan Veselý. Slovalco is preparing various support measures for employees affected by the shutdown of production. Slovalco is a fully consolidated aluminum smelter within Hydro, 55.3% of which is owned by Hydro and 44.7% by Penta Investments. Slovalco has an annual production capacity of 175,000 tons of primary aluminum and a Foundry capacity of approximately 250,000 tons.

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