YAOUNDE, Cameroon -(Dow Jones)- Alumina production by Societe Camerounaise
d'Aluminium, or Alucam, Cameroon's lone primary alumina smelter, is expected to
reach 62,000 metric tons in 2009, far below the 90,000 tons that had been
anticipated, Alucam General Manager Alain Malong said Thursday.
Alucam, 47%-owned by the Cameroon government, is in a strategic partnership
with world smelting consortium Rio Tinto Alcan, a unit of Rio Tinto PLC (RTP).
The smelter reached a deal last Friday to secure power from AES-Sonel, the
Cameroon affiliate of U.S. energy firm AES Corp. (AES). The deal, which followed
four years of negotiations between the two companies, will run for 30 years.
Alucam will now pay 12,94 CFA francs ($0.02) per kilowatt for electricity
supplied by AES-Sonel, from XAF7 before.
"Due to the energy shortage, and the late start of supply of electricity from
the Dibamba power plants [owned by AES-Sonel], we could not produce as much
alumina [in 2009]," Malong told Dow Jones Newswires.
The Alucam official was optimistic about meeting the required annual capacity
of 90,000 tons in the years ahead, following last week's deal with AES-Sonel.
Alucam said it aims to more than triple its output of the primary alumina that
it produces, to 300,000 tons by 2015, with the full acquisition of the required
-By Emmanuel Tumanjong, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; +237-9655-6261;