Auginish Alumina: What does the future hold for the Limerick-based company?

Aughinish Alumina: Image source Twitter

By Paige Foley, Matthew Hurley, Rachel Kelly and Stella Gordon

Auginish Alumina is Europe’s largest aulmina refinery, that exports alumina to be refined into aluminum metal, which happens to be situated locally in Askeaton County Limerick.

However, Russian oligarch Oleg Deritaski and his company Rusal, hold a 44% share in Auginish Alumina

As of now, sanctions imposed on Mr Deritaski are from the UK and US governments but crucially, not the EU.

There is currently no sanctions in place on Rusal or majority owners EN Plus who are listed on the London stock exchange.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, has informed the management at the plant that the government currently does not have plans to implement sanctions against the company due to the strategic economic importance its operations hold for the country.

This is as the company provides 460 jobs in the factories and further indirectly leads to the employment of 360 contractors.

As well as its importance to employment, the plant also provides 30% of all alumina used within the European Union for aircraft and car manufacturing.

The lack of implementing sanctions against the plant has been further reiterated as Taoiseach Michael Martin rejected a private call from a Ukraine Ambassador calling for the company to be shut down due to its Russian ties, its owner is a close acquaintance of Vladimir Putin.

Whilst the threat of future sanctions against the company is an ongoing worry for those employed there as well as the wider economic domino effect it would cause, the Taoiseach’s actions provide a current sense of stability for the future of Auginish Alumina.

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