US to lift sanctions on RUSAL

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− good news for subsidiary, the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI)

− govt-established task force ensuring jobs are secured

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, December 20, 2018

Good news on the horizon for the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) and subsidiary of RUSAL following news today that the Trump Administration is ready to remove the sanctions on the Russian-owned and world’s second-largest aluminium company.

According to a report published in Bloomberg, the announcement comes after an agreement was met to significantly reduce the owner, Oleg Deripaska’s stake to below 50 per cent.

While his property will remain blocked, the report stated that the US Treasury Department intends to remove financial restrictions on RUSAL. The move is expected to take effect in 30 days unless it is blocked by Congress.

RUSAL Guyana is a majority shareholder in BCGI and a subsidiary of RUSAL.

The Coalition Government had established a task force back in April, when the sanctions were imposed, to ensure that workers here are not adversely affected. Once the financial restrictions are removed from the parent company by the US, it would mean that hundreds of jobs can be saved locally.

The US Treasury Department had said Deripaska was the intended target of the sanctions imposed on associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rusal is among the largest companies the US has ever put on its sanction’s designation list. The value of the aluminium producer has declined by more than half from $9.2 billion more than seven months ago.

According to the report, RUSAL, in a statement today, said it will do everything necessary to return the company to regular working conditions.

Aluminium markets spun into chaos after the sanctions against the companies were announced. Sanctioning the world’s largest aluminium supplier outside of China threatened a worldwide shortage of the metal, the report stated.

The local task force is a cautionary measure implemented by the Government of Guyana and includes Finance Minister Winston Jordan, Members of Parliament Jermaine Figueira and Audwin Rutherford, General Secretary of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU), Lincoln Lewis, and the Department of Labour.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, during a visit to the BCGI in April immediately following the announcement, had noted:

“RUSAL, the company, the management and its workers have to find a way to work together to save this industry. The government of Guyana has a duty to stand and work with you to save your jobs.”

Managing Director of BCGI, Valerii Vinokurov had also assured that BCGI is working with the Bank of Guyana to open accounts in Euro currency to continue local operations.

Stacy Carmichael.

Image: Web-based.