Rusal Wins $275-million Damage Award From Tajikistan

Rusal Wins $275-million Damage Award from Tajikistan A Swiss tribunal has found that Rusal (EPA:RUSAL), the Russian aluminum giant, is owed $275 million from Tajik Aluminum Company (TalCo), Tajikstan's largest enterprise.

According to Eurasianet.org, the tribunal found TalCo in breach of two 2003 agreements with a subsidiary of Rusal. Under the agreements, the subsidiary, Hamer Investing Ltd., had supplied TalCo raw materials, for which the state-run Tajik company failed to pay.

TalCo was thus ordered by the tribunal to pay Rusal damages of over $112 million, about $147 million in interest, and nearly $15 million in legal fees, according to a statement from Rusal.

TalCo is the largest aluminum smelter in Central Asia, while Rusal has 26 smelters/refineries and 8 bauxite mines; Rusal produces 9 percent of the world's aluminia and 8 percent of global alumina production.

Other company news

Ormet Corp (OTCMKTS:ORMTQ)ahas shut down its Hannibal smelter following a decision by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve only a portion of the electricity rate relief sought by the US aluminum producer. Platts reported that nearly 1,000 workers were laid off at the smelter, which produced at a rate of 260,000 metric tonnes a year. Ohio Governor John Kasich blamed low aluminum prices for the closure and suggested the state has already done enough to help the embattled company.

"The PUC lowered Ormet's power costs to $50/MWh, less than the $57.99/MWh it has been paying to American Electric Power, but still more than the $45.99/MWh Ormet said it needed to keep Hannibal in partial operation for the remainder of 2013," Platts reported.

Ormet is the second aluminum smelter to be shuttered in Ohio in recent years; Century Aluminum's (NASDAQ:CENX)aRavenswood plant met the same fate in 2009, said Charleston Daily Mail. The publication quoted The Wall Street Journal as saying thataaluminum companies in several states have used the threat of shutting down and laying off hundreds of workers as a bargaining chip for cheaper power.