Russia-based RUSAL, a global aluminum producer, opened the first phase of its low-carbon aluminum production plant, Taishet Aluminum Smelter (TaAZ), in Taishet, Siberia.
The smelter operates on clean energy from Siberian hydroelectric power plants, which together with modern gas cleaning equipment and a closed water circulation system, has a low level impact on the environment. Full scope CO2 emissions will be one of the lowest in the industry, the company claims. Pre-operation verifications and testing have begun.
TaAZ is the third low-carbon aluminum smelter to be built by RUSAL, with an overall cost of more than $1.69 billion, creating more than 1,000 local jobs. Once fully operational, the smelter is expected to produce 428.5 thousand tons of low-carbon aluminum per year during its first phase and will play a critical role in the town’s overall social and economic development, with RUSAL fully committed to supporting local communities.
Sales of the low-carbon aluminum produced in Taishet will be focused towards the extrusion and rolled products segments, helping to meet the high demand for low-carbon aluminum worldwide. Approximately one quarter of production will serve the domestic Russian market.
The project was funded with RUSAL’s own capital, along with a syndicated loan from VTB (30 billion rubles / US$410 million) and Gazprombank (15 billion rubles / US$200 million).
In 2020, RUSAL accounted for about 5.8% of global production of aluminum and 6.5% of alumina production; 44% of RUSAL’s production accounts for value-added products. The carbon footprint of the company’s low-carbon aluminum ALLOW is 5 times lower than the industry’s average (Scope 1 and 2, at the smelter).
RUSAL is one of 55 members of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI), an industry non-profit working to ensure that the production and use of environmentally friendly aluminium is a global climate solution backed up by full transparency all along the value chain. Headquartered in Australia, ASI’s membership includes metals industry companies, national aluminum councils from Austria to South Africa, and automotive manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.