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Ghana: Power shortage cuts ALCOA

THE VOLTA Aluminium Company (VALCO)’s smelter in Tema has shut half of its pot lines down because of a request by the State Power Authority to reduce electricity use.
Volta River Authority, the power utility source in the country is currently hit by shortage of water in the Akosombo hydroelectric dam, which has affected its power generating facility for the country, It has since last Tuesday advised its bulk electricity users of potential power shortage and therefore asked that they be prepared to reduce their electricity power consumption by as much as 25 to 50 percent.

To this effect, VALCO has lowered its 2006 production estimates to two pot lines or 80,000 tonnes of aluminum from its original plan to restart three pot lines, representing 120,000 tonnes this year.

According to the company, demands from the nearby capital city of Accra have increased faster than anticipated, causing blackouts and taking up power supply needed at the smelter.

ALCOA, the world’s largest aluminium producer, owns a 10 per cent stake in VALCO and the impact of the shutdown was about 2,000 tonnes of Alcoa’s 8,000 tonnes share of annual production.

According to the spokesman of Alcoa, Mr. Kevin Lowery, “Production went from two pot lines to 1½ pot lines in the past couple of days due to the power shortages.”

He added that the two pot lines had been producing at roughly 80,000 tonne per year annual output rate.

With the curtailment, he said the smelter was now operating at a rate of about 60,000 tonnes a year.

Additional information:
News date: 05/09/2006

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