The world’s largest aluminum manufacturer, UC RUSAL, has signed an agreement to construct the world’s largest aluminum smelter, along with a major energy and metals complex in Russia’s Saratov region.
Author: John Chadwick
Posted: Tuesday , 16 Oct 2007

LONDON - According to a company press release, UC RUSAL, the world's largest producer of aluminium and alumina, has signed a co-operation agreement with the government of Russia's Saratov region for the construction of a major energy and metals complex.
The complex will include a significant expansion of the Balakovsky nuclear power plant, with UC RUSAL building the fifth and sixth reactor blocks, generating 2,000 MW and the construction of the world's largest aluminium smelter, with an annual production capacity of 1.05 Mt.
The construction of the aluminium smelter and nuclear power station will be financed and implemented by UC RUSAL. The overall budget will be defined on completion of a feasibility study, expected by the end of 2008. This significant investment is part of UC RUSAL's strategy to achieve energy self-sufficiency and secure the company's position as the leading global diversified energy and metals corporation. This agreement will help the Saratov region to attract further investments to bolster social and economic development.
Alexander Bulygin, CEO of UC RUSAL: "This major new initiative demonstrates UC RUSAL's growth strategy, the strengths of our in-house EPCM capability and ability to secure low-cost, long-term power supplies. It will enable our company to strengthen its power base through the construction of one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources, as well as growing aluminium production by over 25%. The construction of the aluminium complex in Saratov is a leading example of government and private partnership. It will create a sound infrastructure to help the region's further industrial development and social and economic sustainability."

Pavel Ipatov, Governor of the Saratov region: "Close co-operation between business and government is an essential condition of the region's social and economic development. We welcome UC RUSAL, one of our largest investors. The construction of the power plant and aluminium smelter will create 4,000 new jobs in the region. This project will also drive the development of a number of facilities, necessary for supporting the operations of the largest energy and metals complex and will become the leading example of effective partnership for other potential investors."
The agreement will become effective once the construction of the second stage of Balakovsky power plant is approved by the Federal Nuclear Agency (ROSATOM). UC RUSAL and the government of the Saratov region intend to hold joint negotiations with ROSATOM to sign the necessary agreements between UC RUSAL and ROSATOM.
United Company RUSAL accounts for some 12% and 15% of global production of aluminium and alumina respectively. UC RUSAL was founded in March 2007 through the merger of RUSAL, SUAL, and the alumina assets of Glencore.
Saratov region is part of the Volga economical region and one of the most economically and industrially developed southern regions of Russia. Saratov city is the largest port on the Volga River, the main transport throughway in the Southern region. The region is also a home of over 2,000 large and medium enterprises. The highly developed machine building and contracting industries of Saratov region are metals hungry and promise a steady demand for aluminium.