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MAL starts paying electricity bills

The Hungarian Aluminum Production and Trading Company (MAL) paid its electricity supplier €350,000 on Monday and will pay it another €300,000 on Thursday, government catastrophe protection commissioner György Bakondi said on the government's website on Monday.

The €650,000 – about HUF 170 million – compares to more than HUF 2 billion in unpaid gas and electricity bills MAL owes.

Switching off the electricity at MAL's plant in Ajka (NW Hungary) would bankrupt the company, said Bakondi.

The government commissioner was put in charge of overseeing MAL after a reservoir at the plant burst last October, killing ten people and flooding two villages with toxic red sludge.

The state will continue to oversee MAL as long as a hazard is present, up to two years, Bakondi said.