Bosnia’s Aluminij halts operations after power supplies cut

By bne IntelliNews July 10, 2019

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s troubled aluminium smelter Aluminij halted operations as the power supply from Elektroprivreda HZHB stopped in the first minutes of July 10, Indikator.ba reported.

This was not unexpected as Aluminij has accumulated significant debt towards Elektroprivreda HZHB and the government of the Muslim-Croat Federation has failed to find a last-minute solution to prevent the power cut.

Aluminij's workers and management have warned that the shutdown means an imminent collapse for the company, particularly for its electrolysis unit, which cannot be restarted due to its complex production process.

It was unclear what will follow after the shutdown of Aluminij. The Federation’s Energy, Mining and Industry Minister Nemir Dzindic has said that unless a strategic partner appears by the end of the year, Aluminij will go bankrupt.

A few days ago London-listed Glencore pulled out from talks on a possible acquisition of Bosnia’s sole aluminium smelter. Talks with a second interested candidate - the UAE’s Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) – so far have had no result either.

Dzindic said the government will continue talks with EGA and with all potential investors. He added that another firm has sent a letter of interest.

Aluminij, once one of the biggest companies in Bosnia, has significant outstanding debt with 74%, or BAM280mn (€143.2mn), of it owed to Elektroprivreda HZHB.

Aluminij already started preparing to halt operations in June as Elektroprivreda HZHB stopped delivering power at preferential prices. The smelter has been threatened with the shutdown of its operations and bankruptcy for years due to its accumulated debts.

Related Articles

Bosnians protest against corruption as top politicians face graft charges

Thousands of Bosnians protested on May 30 in the capital Sarajevo after the prosecution charged three people, including one of the entities’ prime minister, for corruption involving the import of ... more

Illegal wiretapping charges filed against Bosnian President Dodik after he boasts of listening in to opposition calls

Opposition parties and Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina (TIBiH) have filed criminal charges against the Serb member of the tripartite Bosnian state presidency member Milorad ... more

Bosnian unit of ArcelorMittal halts work, cuts 80% of jobs

ArcelorMittal Zenica – the Bosnian unit of ArcelorMittal – has stopped work and sent 80% of its workers at home, Indikator.ba reported on May 19. The reason for ArcelorMittal’s decision has ... more

Dismiss