Aluminium smelter still viable investors told

Roux van Zyl

Roux van Zyl

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has reassured Rio Tinto Alcan that its planned R20billion aluminium smelter is still viable despite concerns about the country's energy shortage.

This comes after the international mining group announced last week that the smelter project has been put on ice while it reviews a power supply agreement with Eskom.

Rio Tinto's statement closely followed Eskom's announcement that the country has entered the second phase of its power rationing programme, which will target the commercial sector, residential areas and other smaller customers.

The second phase of load shedding will last until July.

On Friday CDC business development executive Khwezi Tiya reaffirmed that the viability of an aluminium smelter at the Coega Industrial Development Zone near Port Elizabeth has been proven and that a site has been made ready for its implementation.