Aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar will file for bankruptcy, FBiH Energy Minister Nermin Dzindic announced. The plant was disconnected from the power grid a few minutes after midnight on Jul 10 after the entity’s government failed to find a strategic partner for the company. The minister said that the bankruptcy proceeding should not affect the interest of potential investors. He added that talks with potential partners would continue. Dzindic could not say whether and how the situation with Aluminij would affect FBiH economy.
Aluminij, one of BiH’s top exporters, has been operating at losses for several years because of high electricity prices. The total debt of the company amounts to about KM377m, of which KM280m are owed to the power utility EP HZHB. The FBiH government owns a 44%-stake in the company, small shareholders — further 44% and the rest (12%) is in the hands of Croatia’s TLM. The plant employs about 900 people but some 10,000 jobs depend on it, in contractors and local metal processing firms that rely on its supplies.