Akwa Ibom - The Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) at Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom, lost some $59 million (about N9.41 billion) due to unstable gas supply to the plant since it was built in 2008.
Mr Albert Dyabin, Director, Public and Government Relations of the company, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket.
Dyabin said that the situation did not only hinder production and development, it also constituted a threat to the future of the company.
``Due to the inadequacy of gas supply to the plant, emergency stoppages of production are recorded frequently.
“Again, due to the peculiarity of the electrolysis reduction process, each of the emergency stoppages results in full replacement of pot-lining material in each of the electrolytic cells.
``All these stoppages have caused unjustified losses totaling more than $59 million to the company.’’
He said that eight unscheduled gas supply stoppages had been recorded by the company since its inception, lamenting that the situation had made it difficult for the plant to attain optimal production.
Dyabin said that energy was the single largest input in the company’s production process, regretting that the supply of natural gas to the plant from the Nigerian Gas Company had remained epileptic.
He said that between 2010 and 2012, the company produced 55 041 tonnes of primary aluminium, with 21 987 tonnes, the largest production output recorded in 2012.
According to him, the company produced 17 542 tonnes in 2010, while 15 521 tonnes were produced in 2011.
He said that some of the output were exported.