Embattled Russian Federation aluminium giant U.C. Rusal says sanctions placed upon it by the Trump administration has forced it to end production at a smelter in northwest Russia.
Rusal has started ramping down production at its Nadvoitsky plant in Karelia, citing the twin body blows of Section 232 aluminium tariffs and the sanctions levied upon the firm by the Treasury Department shortly afterward.
The plant was particularly susceptible from harm by the sanctions as both its raw materials and its end market was based in the United States.
“As a result, since April 2018, Nadvoitsky has been sending all of its production to stock, generating significant losses,” explained a company spokesperson to Reuters.
“Rusal was forced in August to begin closing down electrolysis pots at Nadvoitsky.”
Rusal says the 343-strong labor force at the plant will be either offered other positions at Rusal or another firm elsewhere in Russia, or given a mutually-agreed-upon payout from the firm.
“Employees of the plant will not suffer despite (the shutdown), as the company will take an individual approach staff job placement,” the company spokesman assured Reuters.
“The company … will provide each person with the opportunity to remain employed, primarily as part of the project to reprofile Nadvoitsky and create profitable businesses using the plant’s infrastructure.”
Rusal has been battling against the Trump administration measures against the firm for several months. The Treasury Department accused Rusal, En+ Group, and its owner Oleg Deripaska as being one of several Russian individuals and firms that have been complicit in attempting to interfere with and destabilize governments around the world, allegedly including improperly influencing the 2016 presidential election in the United States.
First commissioned in 1954, the plant most recently produced 12 thousand metric tons per annum of primary aluminium. The plant is located 300 miles north of St. Petersburg.