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MAL shuts down aluminum metallurgy in Inota

Price hike in electricity in the region and the strong forint/weak dollar has forced the board of Hungarian Aluminum Rt (MAL) to close down its furnace in Inota, which is producing multibillion forint losses, Világgazdaság reported. The electrolizing plant has a 35,000 ton per year capacity and needs 1,600 kWh electric power per ton with the electricity bill amounting to the 50% of the value of aluminum produced there. The closing down process is starting on 1 January 2006. It will last for 5 weeks and take a 320 person layoff. The company has to find new markets for the aluminum oxide used in Inota. The Ajka Aluminumoxide Factory produces 65,000 tons of aluminum oxide for Inota, which is one fifth of its capacity. However, MAL continues producing alloys and even plans to increase this production by 50%. Also, the company will build a new factory to melt waste metal and furnace aluminum. Bauxite is supplied by the Bosnian bauxite company Rudnic Boksita Jajce, in which MAL has a 51% stake.