The Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO) has reportedly lost millions of dollars because of outdated technologies used by the Tajik aluminum smelter. 

“Because of lack of the state-of-the-art technologies, the Tajik aluminum now does not produce the high-quality aluminum A7, while in 2012 the share of the aluminum A7 in the overall volume of primary aluminum produced in Tajikistan was some 70 percent,” Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Ms. Gulrou Jabborzoda, told reporters in Dushanbe on January 22.  

According to her, the government in August 2016 issued a decree on modernization of the Tajik aluminum plant.  “The modernization process is under way,” Ms. Jabborzoda noted.

She further noted that the aluminum production has shown a downward trend in the country in recent years.  

“In 2017, Tajikistan produced 103,000 tons of primary aluminum, which is 26,000 tons fewer than in 2016 and 176,000 (!) fewer than in 2012,” the deputy minister said, adding that that there were many factors affecting the aluminum production in the country, including decrease in the number of electrolysis baths and delay in supply of the petroleum coke.  

According to the Customs Service under the Government of Tajikistan, Tajikistan last year exported some 103,000 tons of primary aluminum, which is 29,000 tons less than in 2016. 

In 2017, the international price for one ton of primary aluminum was 1,970 U.S. dollars.

The Ministry of Industry and New Technologies (MoINT) had earlier reported that the Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO) produced 85,600 tons of primary aluminum over the first ten months of 2017, which was 23 percent less than in the same period of 2016.  

Aluminum production has begun significantly decreasing in Tajikistan since November 2016.

Representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MoEDT) attribute the setback in aluminum production in the country to an electricity blackout that hit Tajikistan on October 28, 2016. 

The TALCO press center noted on October 30 that the electricity blackout had nearly led to shutdown of the Tajik aluminum smelter. 

Electricity blackout reportedly hit the city of Tursunzoda on October 28 at 6:31.  Barqi Tojik (Tajikistan’s national integrated power company) tried to resume electricity supply to the aluminum smelter at 8:40 pm but it failed.  Power supply was resumed only at 9:30 pm but Barqi Tojik needed another one and a half hours to resume normal power supply to the smelter, therefore, normal power supply to the smelter was reportedly resumed at 11:18 pm.

Damaged caused to the Tajik aluminum smelter by the power outage has been estimated at 8 million U.S. dollars.   

The Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO) is one of the ten largest aluminum smelters in the world.  It consumes more than 30 percent of the country’s electrical power.  TALCO is wholly owned by the Tajik government.  Tajikistan does not mine alumina but imports the raw material through tolling arrangements.

Construction of the Tajik aluminum plant (TadAZ) began in 1972, and the first pouring of aluminum took place on March 31, 1975.  The Tajik aluminum smelter has a rated capacity of 517,000 tons of primary aluminum per year.  On April 3, 2007, TadAZ was officially renamed to TALCO – Tajik Aluminum Company.