The reason for the decision is that the operation of the smelter causes a loss of several billion forints to the company due to the rising electric energy prices in the region and the weak dollar. The technology based on electrolysis requires 16,000 kWh of electric energy for each ton of aluminium so the energy bill already accounts for almost 50 % of the value of aluminium now.
The process of closing down will start on 1st January 2006 and will last for five weeks. In connection with this about 320 persons will be dismissed. The 176 electrolytic pots will be dismantled in the smelter shop of 16,000 m2 and the workshop will be used for other purposes.
The production of aluminium semi-product will not be affected by the closing down of the smelter since production will continue on the basis of purchased primary aluminium and aluminium scrap. The company plans to increase its production of aluminium semi-product by 50 % until 2010. To substitute the smelter the new melting capacity will be established until the end of this year with an investment of 1.2 billion forints for the melting of purchased aluminium.
As a consequence of the closing down of the smelter the alumina of 65,000 tons/year delivered for the purpose of electrolysis from the company’s Alumina Refinery at Ajka will not be necessary, which accounted for 1/5 of the capacity of the alumina refinery. The company thinks that the placement of a considerable part of the “released” alumina on the market can be solved.
- The aluminium smelter at Inota was put into operation in 1952. Its achieved maximum capacity is 35,000 tons/year, and until its planned closing down it will have produced 1,590,000 tons of aluminium, which accounts for 5 % of the present annual world production.
- In Hungary there were four aluminium smelters including the one at Inota:
- The aluminium smelter of Csepel with a capacity of 5,000 tons/year had been put into operation in 1935 and was closed down finally in 1946 due to the damages caused by the bomb attacks during the world war.
- The aluminium smelter of Tatabánya had been put into operation in 1940, its achieved maximum capacity had been 18,000 tons/year, and it was closed down in 1991 because of the high costs of electric energy.
- The aluminium smelter of Ajka had been opened in 1943, its achieved maximum capacity had been 22,000 tons/year, and it was closed down simultaneously with the plant at Tatabánya.
Székesfehérvár, 30th June 2005