Scheduling decision on Russian oligarch-linked Aughinish Alumina delayed

Aboard Pleanála has delayed a decision on the application to expand the Russian oligarch-linked Aughinish Alumina until at least September.

ughinish Alumina – the largest alumina refiner in Europe – is linked to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch on the EU sanctions list.

Deripaska is the largest shareholder in EN+, which holds a significant stake in Rusal, the owner of the Aughinish facility. This had raised the prospect that Rusal and his work at Aughinish might be involved in sanctions against Deripaska here.

The Enterprise Ministry said neither Aughinish nor Rusal fall within the scope of EU sanctions.

Aughinish’s application to expand its Co Limerick operations was due last Wednesday. However, Aughinish and planning objectors were recently told by An Bord Pleanála that it was still with the planning inspector. She intends to process the application by September 16.

In December, Aughinish applied for planning permission to increase the maximum height of its Bauxite Residual Landfill Area (BRDA) – or “red mud” pond – to 44 meters and increase the level of saltcake, a hazardous material, to a new maximum of 35 meters. These adjacent areas host the two main by-products of bauxite processing.

It also wants to expand its drill pit to facilitate further rock blasting on site and provide material for BRDA expansion.

A planning report said the development would extend the BRDA from 2030 to 2039.

Aughinish employs 482 people directly and over 385 contractors.

Regardless, entries in the lobby register show significant lobbying by Aughinish Alumina after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including with Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

Aughinish declined to comment. Scheduling decision on Russian oligarch-linked Aughinish Alumina delayed

Fry Electronics Team

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