Uniprom Ending Aluminium Smelting After 53 Years

Montenegro’s aluminium producer Uniprom announced this week that it will be shuttering aluminium smelting operations after over half a century in production.

Local media said the final dozen electrolysis cells will begin the process of ceasing production presently at KAP smelter. Production of aluminium logs and alloys will continue, but the plant will transition to third-party feedstock upon closure of the on-site aluminium smelter.

For its part, Uniprom cast the blame on the Montenegrin government for making it impossible to go on.

“The government illegally took emission credits from Uniprom and assigned them to EPCG, contrary to an EU directive. The European Energy Community has already started the procedure, and the damage is worth tens of millions of euros. After the EU report arrives, we will continue with further activities. Production at other factories at KAP remains uninterrupted.”

The majority of the aluminium cells at the site were shuttered at the end of 2021 upon Elektroprivreda Crne Gore’s (EPCG) decision to stop providing the plant with electricity for €44/MWh (US$48/MWh), as wholesale power prices rose significantly since the previous power arrangement.

About 50 workers will be laid off as a result of the closure.

KAP entered bankruptcy a decade ago and was sold to Uniprom a year later. The company accounts for around one-fifth of Montenegro’s exported goods.