Tajik Aluminium Output Falls 11.6%

• Category: Tajikistan
DUSHANBE (Reuters) – Tajikistan Aluminium Company, or TALCO, produced 97,863 tonnes of the metal in January-April 2012, or 11.6% less than in the same four months last year, a source close to the company's management told Reuters on Friday.
TALCO facilities

The Tajik Aluminium Company (TALCO) headquartered in Tursunzoda (تورسونزاده), Tajikistan, runs the largest aluminium manufacturing plant in Central Asia, and is Tajikistan’s chief industrial asset. The country has no native aluminium ore, so the raw material for the plant has to be imported. Construction of the plant proper began in 1972, and the first pouring of aluminium took place on 31 March 1975.

The main reason for the decline was lower monthly production rates in early 2012 as the smelter ramped up output following a modernisation programme completed toward the end of last year. Production was also affected in April when neighbouring Uzbekistan cut off natural gas supplies for 15 days. Tajikistan signed a deal to resume supplies from April 16 until the end of the year.

Tajikistan’s state-owned aluminium smelter, the largest in former Soviet Central Asia, hopes a resumption of gas supplies from Uzbekistan will allow it to meet its 2012 output target despite a near-12% decline in the first four months.

TALCO is sticking to its plan to produce 332,500 tonnes of primary aluminium this year,  which would restore production approximately to 2010 levels after a 20% decline to 277,584 tonnes in 2011.