CVG maintains 2002 aluminum output levels

Bnamericas Published: Monday, March 10, 2003
Venezuelan aluminum smelter Alcasa, controlled by the country's state heavy industry holding company CVG, has maintained last year's production output, registering 14,206t in January this year compared to 2002's full-year result of 170,478t, a CVG spokesperson told BNamericas. The result comes despite an ongoing general strike that peaked in the December-January period. Alcasa hopes to reactivate its second production line in May. The company's US$650mn line V project was recently awarded to a consortium of Swiss natural resources group Glencore, French aluminum maker Pechiney and US engineers and constructors Fluor Daniel. Line V's final contract is expected to be signed within two months. When up and running, it will increase Alcasa's installed capacity from 210,000 to 450,000 t/y. Meanwhile another CVG subsidiary, bauxite-alumina producer Bauxilum, is averaging 5,350t/d, after turning out 1.8Mt alumina last year. It returned to full operations in February after suffering reductions in gas supplies amid the strike, a spokesperson said previously. The plant's bauxite mine produced 5.3Mt in 2002 and aims to reach 5.5Mt this year. And at CVG Venalum, production came in at 36,954t for January, slightly down on December 2002's 37,000t, but 477t more than January 2002. The 430,000t/y-capacity operation achieved an output record of 436,558 last year, unaffected by gas reductions necessary for aluminum smelting in the Guayana region. "Venalum's objective for 2003 is to at least maintain the levels of production achieved last year," the spokesperson said.

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