Aughinish Alumina Warns Of Imminent Difficulties Due To OFAC Sanctions On Rusal

Aughinish Alumina Warns Of Imminent Difficulties Due To OFAC Sanctions On Rusal

Top brass at Ireland’s Aughinish Alumina refinery warned last week that sanctions placed upon its parent company by the Trump administration are threatening the plant’s continued operations.

Executives from Limerick Alumina Refining Ltd (LARL) noted in corporate filings that it has been on tenterhooks since April, when the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) levied sanctions on its parent company United Company Rusal.

To date, the company noted that it continues to operate at full capacity and, thanks in part to the sanctions in question, has experienced a surge in sale prices. LARL reported pre-tax profits last year of US$50.6 million, a reversal from 2016, when it posted a pre-tax loss of US$40.58 million.

However, the firm, which supplies fully one third of Europe’s alumina via Aughinish Alumina refinery, is still “trying to find a solution aimed at its delisting from the list of sanctioned entities.” Per LARL’s executive directors, the sanctions embody a material uncertainty that may cast a pall on the company’s ability to continue operating.

LARL execs say, even should OFAC’s sanctions not be lifted, the firm will still have other alternatives open to it, including operating under an alternate OFAC license. The firm did not give further details on its progress in coming to an agreement with OFAC.

In April, OFAC designated U.C. Rusal, En+ Group, and founder Oleg Deripaska along with several other Russian businessmen and companies for allegedly engaging in “malign activities” to destabilize governments around the world, including allegedly tampering with the 2016 United States presidential election. Though the deadline for companies to cut ties with the designated entities was initially set later that spring, Rusal has been granted several extensions due to the United States government’s recognition that the firm continues to work towards amicably parting ways with Deripaska.