FG wades into wrangling amongst investors in ASLCON

Vice President Namadi Sambo has urged Dayson Holding Limited – a core investor in the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) to resolve its disputes with other stakeholders that has hampered operations at the effectiveness of the company.

Sambo according to a statement from his office on Tuesday, at a meeting with the Minister of Transport, Management of Dayson, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and other stakeholders, ordered Dayson to come up with a technical implementation strategy, bill of quantity, operational plan and design and roadmap of the dredging of Imo River within two weeks.

The dredging of the river is key to shipment of aluminium ingots produce from the smelter plant located in Akwa Ibom State.

Dredging of the Imo River had been delayed even though Dayson Holding Limited signed the contract agreement in 2005 and collected the sum of $120,000,000.

Sambo also directed an amendment to the privatization agreement, which handed the running of the ALSCON plant to Russia’s United Company RUSAL, which is a technical partner of Dayson, but not mentioned in the agreement.

“The position of Rusal should be spelt out in the acquisition agreement such that it bridges the gap between both companies as Rusal is a subsidiary of Dayson Holdings,” the Vice President said.

He also constituted a committee comprising Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) National Gas Company, Gas Aggregator, Shell and Dayson to ensure that Dayson obtains a licence to be able to generate and sell electricity and guide Dayson on all procedures to be adopted.

The Committee has two weeks to submit its report.

ALSCON, with an installed capacity of 193,000 tonnes a year, first came on stream 1997. But it was poorly managed and produced just 40,000 tonnes of metal before closing in 1999.

RUSAL, which bought control of the plant for $250 million last year after a two-year privatisation process, is expected to transform ALSCON into a major producer in Africa, satisfying a significant share of local demand for aluminium.

The world’s top aluminium smelter said it has earmarked $300 million to completely modernise the smelter by 2010, and dredge the Imo river, which is key to the import of raw materials and export of finished aluminium.

The Nigerian government retained a 15 percent stake in the plant, while Germany’s Ferrostaal AG (MANG.DE) has 7.5 percent.

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