10 April 2011
Siaka Momoh .
Cheap, sustainable source of energy is a vital requirement for aluminium plant to be competitive. With the establishment of
Nigeria’s aluminum smelting plant (ALSCON) in Ikot Abasi, , SIAKA MOMOH, Industry Editor examines its performance, saying that its functionality will help reduce the nation’s dependence on imported metals Akwa Ibom State
The Niger Delta predicament is no news to most Nigerians. At the country’s independence up until the environmental degradation, the area suffered following years of oil pollution and spillage. This was an area that was awash with aquatic life, grasscutters and porcupines.
This feature disappeared following increased environmental pollution in the area; gas flaring became the order of the day and the Niger Deltans became unfortunate victims of incessant acid rainfall.
Giving this scary reality, the federal government came up with the idea of establishing an aluminum production plant in the region- a plant that needs gas for power generation. Funny enough, not only would the operations of the aluminum production plant put an end to gas flaring, it would play a part in stopping the careless discharge of toxic wastes into the environment.
Hence, the presence of high quality gas at relatively cheap cost in the region propelled the Federal Government in the early 80s to explore possible ways whereby the resource is explored to create jobs, stimulate the local economy and earn foreign exchange for the country through export.
Despite the persistent gas supply disruptions since 2007, the company has made appreciable impact on the immediate local community of the plant and the host state of Akwa Ibom through investments in social programmes.
From employment to the provision of reliable power supply, investment in education, water supply and sports, ALSCON has shown some level of commitment to the economic development of its host state.