Moscow - RUSAL, the world's largest primary aluminium producer, decided to suspend operations at its Alscon smelter in Nigeria because of concerns about gas supplies, it said on Friday.
The Russian firm said the smelter would be suspended from the end of April, having produced 22,000 tonnes of aluminium in 2012, around 88 percent less than its maximum annual capacity.
“Today, despite all measures undertaken by the company, ALSCON does not have a reliable and continuous gas supply,” RUSAL said in a statement.
“Aluminium production at the plant is deeply loss-making, which renders it impossible to fully utilise the existing capacities.”
The company owns 85 percent of Alscon, one of its key African assets, while the remaining stake belongs to the Nigerian government which challenged RUSAL's ownership in 2012.
A spokesman for RUSAL told Reuters the legal dispute with the Nigerian authorities was ongoing. - Reuters