FBiH government tasked on Monday the management of the indebted aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar to start looking for a strategic partner. In the next some 10 days the government will invite representatives of all shareholders to discuss how to find a long-term solution for the company. If efforts to find a strategic partner fail, the company will face bankruptcy, Energy minister Nermin Dzindic said. He also announced that this week government officials will hold talks with power utilities EP BiH and EP HZHB to discuss power supplies to the aluminium smelter. Total debt of Aluminij Mostar amounts to about KM377m, of which KM 280mn are owed to the power utility EP HZHB, the minister said. General Manager of the company Drazen Pandza said that a consortium led by global commodity trader Glencore, a long-time trade partner of the aluminium smelter, has shown interest to become a strategic partner.
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 company employs about 1,000 people, while its closure, if happens, could threaten about 10,000 jobs at contractors and aluminium processing companies.