- The situation is that we have managed, by our own means, to arrange for the supply of electricity for one day, Monday, so we have bought another 24 hours. The supply for Tuesday and for the rest of the week is still unknown, but we have now postponed the announcement of the Aluminij going off the power grid until tomorrow at midnight. Unfortunately, besides the direct communication with FBiH Government Vice-President Jelka Milićević, we still do not have the official position of the body or its head person - said today, in addressing employees and the public, Acting Director of Aluminij d.d. Mostar, Dražen Pandža.
Along with his colleague Boris Vican, and the members of the Supervisory Board, he participated in the peaceful gathering of Aluminij employees at the entrance to the power transmission line at Čula, southwest of Mostar. The gathering was organized by the trade union leaders of the Mostar factory, as a sign of peaceful message to the Government of FBiH, and the event was accompanied by an exceptionally high interest of media houses and live broadcasts for several broadcasters from BiH and Croatia.
According to Director Pandža, the vice-president of the Government is actively involved in solving this dramatic situation, or the most difficult moments for Mostar Aluminij, when it comes to its future. We remind that, the Independent System Operator (NOS) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, announced on Friday that Aluminij was going to be shut down off the power grid at midnight tonight due to the debts owed to that body, as well as the fact that they did not have a registered supplier for Aluminij after October 14th.
The management of the company came to the public with an appeal to the FBiH Government and with the warning that abrupt disconnection of Aluminij from the grid would mean complete damage, the "freezing" of liquid aluminum in the electrolytic cells, the possibility of powerful explosions and the endangered safety of workers in the manufacturing process.
- We repeat that the FBiH Government has fulfilled its obligations under Annex 8 to our mutual agreement, signed in June 2013, Aluminij today would not be on the verge of destruction. Just to understand the situation, restarting only one cell, that was shot down by plan, requires more than 90,000 euros in cash. Aluminij has 256 electrolytic cells, and this shutdown would be an off-the-shelf, out of the system and the current metal would be trapped in them, so restarting the factory would exceed one billion BAM of costs. In the translation, this would be the end of Aluminij - said Pandža, who points out that, despite the new 24 hours for the company, the situation is still extremely critical, because without a direct involvement of the FBiH Government a longer-term solution is impossible.
- By signing Annex 8, the FBiH Government undertook to subsidize electricity, and in turn received an increase in the company's share capital in its favor. Aluminij was obliged to compensate the pre-war workers who are now legitimately suing the company, and soon we will be forced to pay them, and we did not compensate them because of the absence of the agreed subsidy, we did not have any means to do so - added the head of Aluminij.
The President of the Aluminij’s Independent Workers' Union, Romeo Biokšić, said today that Aluminij employees are sending a message to the Government of FBiH and the country's overall policy to immediately take all that is needed to save Aluminij and its 900 employees, or even 40,000 people who depend on its existence.