Tajikistan: aluminum production declines due to outdated equipment

DUSHANBE (TCA) — Over the past six years Tajikistan has seen decreasing production of primary aluminum, Avesta news agency reported citing Tajik Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Gulru Jabborzoda.

In her words, in 2017 Tajikistan produced 103 thousand tons of aluminum, 175 thousand tons less than in 2012.

The reasons for the decrease were outdated technology and delayed supplies of fuel from Turkmenistan.

“In 2012, high-quality aluminum of A-7 grade accounted for 70 percent of the total output of the Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO). At the world’s commodity exchanges, the price of aluminum is determined based on A-7 grade aluminum. For other aluminum grades, prices are $200-$300 lower. Today, the Tajik Aluminum Company does not produce A-7 grade aluminum due to its outdated equipment,” the deputy minister said.

According to the ministry, last year Tajikistan exported 101 thousand tons of primary aluminum for $270 million, 3.2 percent less than in 2016.

In November, Avesta reported that a new aluminum plant will be built on the grounds of the existing aluminum company in Tajikistan.

Igor Sattarov, spokesman of Tajik Aluminum Company state unitary enterprise, then said that in 2018, Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO) will start a program of phased modernization of its aluminum production with the introduction of the latest technology.

“The modernization program will allow in the near future replacing the outdated equipment with modern energy-saving equipment, which will help to greatly increase our aluminum production,” Sattarov said.

The company plans to use Chinese aluminum production technology, which has proven energy efficient.

During the visit of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon to China last year, Tajik Aluminum Company and China’s Yunnan Construction and Investment Holding Group signed a memorandum of cooperation on joint construction of a new aluminum plant on the grounds of TALCO.

The new plant is to produce 503 thousand tons of aluminum per year and will create 1,100 new jobs.

Construction will start in 2018 and should be completed in 1.5 years.

The project is estimated to cost $1.6 billion.

Aluminum is the largest export item of Tajikistan today.

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Times of Central Asia