By: Steve Dellar | 04-14-2018 | News
Photo credit: Rusal Corporate Website

Ireland – Sanctions Against Russia Mean Bad News For Limerick

Even though the Irish town of Limerick is a long way from Moscow, it is here that Russian billionaire Mr Oleg Deripaska supplies Europe with much of its aluminium, and the US-led sanctions against the Kremlin could have severe implications for the Irish countryside town.

As shares in Mr Deripaska’s company Rusal have halved in value in a week’s time, the workers are anxious though the situation for now at the factory remains stable. Many fear that if there are cuts to be made to Rusal’s production, it won’t be in Russia itself.

The large factory some 20 miles outside of Limerick depends of course on the supply chain to it, and with Rio Tinto, the mining company, reviewing its relationship with Rusal based on the US sanctions, it faces an uncertain future.

The Limerick Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, reacted: “The minister spoke with the CEO this morning, but ultimately this is a global situation that is extremely fluid and continues to develop.”

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Because of an outage of another major aluminium plant in Brazil, production in Limerick, Ireland has so far been steady, but many fear what is to come.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Miner looks to walk away from supply deal with metal refinery in Limerick <a href=""></a> via <a href="">@ftbrussels</a></p>&mdash; EUwatch 🇪🇺 (@EUwatchers) <a href="">April 13, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Mr Alan Douglas, who represents the workers in the local trade union, stated: “They’ll be liaising with staff as needs arise.”

“It is a potentially volatile situation. However, it seems to be OK at the moment. Morale seems to be as normal, as if it’s just another day.”

Related coverage:

The Irish Prime Minister Mr Leo Varadkar held a private meeting with the Russian-owned alumina producing plant in Askeaton, Co Limerick, as “concern” mounted over the plant’s continued operations.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bad news for one of the biggest employers in southwest <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ireland</a> as Rio Tinto now says its declaring force majeure on certain contracts with Oleg Deripaska&#39;s Rusal.<br><br>Mentions alumina factory in Limerick - to which Rio sends bauxite.<a href=""></a></p>&mdash; David Sheppard (@OilSheppard) <a href="">April 13, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Mr Varadkar: “The Government are very, very much aware of the risks, and we’ll do everything we can to assist the company, and to ensure that it can continue to operate as normal.”


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