Russian aluminium producer United Company Rusal International (Rusal) plans to build an alumina production facility, in phases, with an investment of Rbs400bn ($4.8bn) to help reduce raw materials imports.

Planned for the Leningrad region, the proposed project will involve four technological lines for alumina production, as well as in port infrastructure in Russia’s Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga.

To be commissioned by the end of 2028, the refinery is expected to have a production capacity of up to 2.4 million tonnes per year in the first phase.

The second phase of the project is due for completion in 2032. The project implementation is expected to create thousands of jobs.

Rusal general director Evgenii Nikitin said: “This project for us is much more than what is written on paper today: along with the massive modernisation of the transport infrastructure of the region, we have also planned large-scale investments in the Republic of Guinea.

“The development of the infrastructure in Guinea is necessary to ensure an increase in the extraction and transportation of bauxite in the republic, which will also create prerequisites for improving trade and economic relations between our countries.”

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By GlobalData

Rusal plans to source bauxite for the new modern alumina plant from Guinea, where it owns mines, reported Reuters.

Rusal sharply increased its dependence on China’s alumina imports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted the Russian company’s alumina supplies from Australia and Ukraine.

In 2022, Rusal’s alumina purchasing cost jumped by 149% and a drop in net profit was reported. This was due to the alumina and bauxite ban by Australia and the alumina refinery production halt in Ukraine as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine.