The comatose Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, is to be re-inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari to enable it to restart production.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Director-General (DG), Mr. Alex Okoh, who gave the hint through BPE’s Head, Public Communications, Mrs. Amina Othman, in Abuja, during the week, said the BPE and other critical stakeholders of the company would reach a comprehensive resolution on the teething problem of gas price and supply confronting the company.
“Upon the resolution of the gas price and supply issues, a new agreement will be signed in line with the current realities.
“It will also take into consideration the trend internationally, to allow ALSCON remain competitive in the global aluminum products market,” he added.
The BPE DG said as the first step, the Bureau had requested Federal Government’s consideration and approval for the categorisation of ALSCON under a strategic industry.
This, he said, was to enable it buy gas at a concessionary price so that the core investor in the company, DHL/RUSAL, would restart production and operate profitably.
He recalled that following the signing of Addendum Number 2 to the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) on January 17, 2018, the investor provided a roadmap to the company’s restart of production.
Okoh said the document signed at the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development provided details on issues required for the operation of the company, including gas price and supply.
He noted that when the company resumes operation, it would serve as a catalyst to the development and growth of the aluminum industry in Nigeria.
He also said ALSCON’s resuscitation would create employment, conserve foreign exchange, serve the automobile and allied industries and create spin-off industries in the country.
– The Nation