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24. March 2011

Restarted Ghana aluminum smelter to double activity

Reuters reported that Ghana's Valco aluminum smelter which restarted in January after a prolonged shutdown is running 1 potline but will add a second in 3 months to 4 months.

A government official said that the 200,000 tonne per year smelter with 6 potlines had been shut since March 2007, largely due to weak metal prices and power shortages caused by low water levels in the vast Volta hydropower dam.

Mr Edward Bawa spokesman of energy ministry said that the smelter had resumed production mainly to feed local aluminum requirements. It's going on well and there are plans to add a second potline in 3 months to 4 months."

He said that Ghana's energy supply was improving and that a post start up evaluation was ongoing to determine how best to optimize the smelter to drive government's plans for an integrated aluminum industry. The power situation is improving and we believe when positioned well, Valco can be a key economic driver.

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