.Slovakia’s only primary aluminium producer, Slovalco, is laying off 300 of its 450 employees to cope with soaring energy costs, emission limits and falling aluminium prices, foreign media reported.
Another 2,500 jobs in the area linked to aluminium manufacturing are now thought to be at risk. The company has been sounding the alarm about its situation for months. The Slovalco smelter had cut primary aluminium production to about 60 per cent in February because of high electricity costs, while electricity bills increased threefold from a year earlier.
The Slovalco smelter has a total of 226 electrolytic cells with an annual capacity of 175,000 tons. 47 cells were shut down by the end of 2021 and another 44 were shut down in February. Currently 135 cells are in operation.
Slovalco aluminium smelter is 55.3% owned by Norsk Hydro HY and 44.7% owned by Penta Investment Group. In May norsk Hydro said it might have to close its Slovalco aluminium smelter in Slovakia unless the slovak government provided financial assistance through a carbon offsetting scheme.