Rusal Aluminium Production Hit by Hydroelectric Blast

18 August 2009 (Last Updated August 18th, 2009 18:30)

Aluminium production at Russia’s UC Rusal is expected to fall by at least 500,000t following an explosion at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power plant in Siberia on 17 August. Rusal secured emergency power supplies for its two Siberian smelters after an explosion caused the turbine room at

Aluminium production at Russia’s UC Rusal is expected to fall by at least 500,000t following an explosion at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power plant in Siberia on 17 August.

Rusal secured emergency power supplies for its two Siberian smelters after an explosion caused the turbine room at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station to flood, Reuters reports.

Rusal operates two Siberian smelters 50km away from the dam in the city of Sayanogorsk and has secured emergency power from the neighbouring regions of Krasnoyarsk and Kemerovo, the news service said.

It will take about two to three years for the power plant to resume operations, which poses a serious threat to production at the smelters, UC Rusal director of strategy and corporate development, Artyom Volynets said.

The aluminium giant, which has about $16.8bn in debts, had previously announced it would reduce output by 500,000t this year to cut costs, separately of any reductions caused by the power station shut-down, Reuters said.

Twelve people were killed in the incident and a further 64 remain missing.