Bosnia's Sole Aluminium Smelter Shut Down Over Debt

Bosnia’s sole aluminium smelter and one of the country’s biggest exporters was disconnected from the power grid just after midnight on Wednesday over a huge debt it had incurred because of high electricity and alumina prices, Reuters repored. The closure of the smelter, which employs about 900 workers in the southern town of Mostar, puts at risk some 10,000 jobs, including contractors and those at the aluminium processing firms it supplies. Aluminij is 44%-owned by the government of Bosnia’s autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, with small shareholders holding another 44% and the Croatian government the rest. The move on Wednesday followed a failed attempt to find a strategic partner for the company, which has a total debt of nearly 380 million Bosnian marka ($218 million). Read more

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