UC Rusal has signed an investment agreement with Russia’s Saratov region administration to build a major energy and metals complex.


The complex will include the expansion of the Balakovsky nuclear power plant, and the building of the fifth and sixth reactor blocks, generating 2,000MW and the construction of the world’s largest aluminium smelter, with an annual production capacity of 1,05mn tonnes.


The construction of the aluminium smelter and nuclear power station will be financed and implemented by UC Rusal. The overall budget will be defined on completion of a feasibility study, expected by the end of 2008.


This investment is part of UC Rusal’s aim to achieve energy self-sufficiency and will also help the Saratov region to attract further investments to bolster social and economic development.


Commenting on the agreement, Alexander Bulygin, CEO of UC Rusal, says: “This major new initiative demonstrates UC Rusal’s growth strategy, the strengths of our in-house EPCM capability and ability to secure low-cost, long-term power supplies. It will enable our company to strengthen its power base through the construction of one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources, as well as growing aluminium production by over 25%. The construction of the aluminium complex in Saratov is a leading example of government and private partnership. It will create a sound infrastructure to help the region’s further industrial development and social and economic sustainability.”


Pavel Ipatov, governor of the Saratov region, adds: “Close cooperation between business and government is an essential condition of the region’s social and economic development. We welcome UC Rusal, the world’s leader in aluminium and one of our largest investors. The construction of the power plant and aluminium smelter will create 4,000 new jobs in the region. This project will also drive the development of a number of facilities, necessary for supporting the operations of the largest energy and metals complex and will become the leading example of effective partnership for other potential investors.”