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Mal completes trial run of technology reducing liquid content of red sludge

The Hungarian Aluminum Production and Trading Company (Mal) has successfully completed trial operation of three pressure filters at its alumina factory in Ajka (C Hungary) that will increase the solid content of red sludge produced as a byproduct at the plant to over 50% from the previous 15%, György Kossa, the chairman of the government oversight committee monitoring the company's operations, told MTI on Thursday evening.

A containment reservoir burst at Mal's plant in Ajka last October, killing ten people and flooding two nearby villages with red sludge.

Kossa noted that the pressure filters, which Mal paid HUF 550 million to install in a new 1,100-square-meter hall, would begin regular operations on February 28.

Kossa said that Mal generated revenue of HUF 30 billion in 2010, up 6% from 2009. Earlier Econews information shows that Mal sustained pre-tax losses of HUF 362 million on revenue of more than HUF 28 billion in 2009 after posting profit of HUF 413 million on revenue of HUF 43 billion in 2008.