UK sanctions Russian tycoon linked to Aughinish Alumina of Limerick

The UK has added billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a shareholder of the company that owns the Limerick Aughinish Alumina refinery, to its sanctions list.

r Deripaska has a 45pc stake in Russian metal giant En+, which has a controlling stake of 56.88pc in Rusal, owner of Aughinish Alumina. The UK Foreign Office estimates Deripaska’s net worth at £2 billion (about €2.4 billion).

Mr Deripaska is not on the latest EU sanctions list, but has been on the US list since 2018.

The news comes after global mining giant Rio Tinto said it would stop supplying bauxite and source alumina from Ireland’s largest refinery, Europe’s largest, as reported by Bloomberg.

Aughinish Alumina uses imported bauxite ore to produce alumina, the key ingredient in aluminum. Aluminum is used to manufacture everything from power lines and industrial equipment to vehicles, buildings and consumer electronics.

The plant in Askeaton, near the mouth of the Shannon River, was once a major supplier to Europe’s aluminum smelters. Rio is the largest supplier of bauxite, but it is not clear what percentage of the plant’s bauxite supply and alumina output it currently ships.

Aluminum prices spiked on the London Metal Exchange on news of Rio’s sanctions and supply cuts.

The UK Foreign Office said on Thursday Mr Deripaska was close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and was once a business partner of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

Mr Abramovich was also sanctioned by the UK today, along with the heads of energy companies Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom, as well as VTB Bank and Rossiya Bank.

Sanctions include an asset freeze, a ban on dealings with individuals and businesses in the UK, a travel ban and a transport ban.

“Today’s sanctions show once again that financiers and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society. With their close connection to Putin, they are complicit in his aggressive actions,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

“The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should bow their heads in shame.”

The Irish independence revealed that Aughinish Alumina’s access to the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) has been suspended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at the request of the European Commission.

Last week, Taoiseach said the refinery, which employs 482 full-time and 385 contract workers near Askeaton in west Limerick, is not covered by EU sanctions.

Aughinish Alumina is unaffected by Mr Deripaska’s presence on the US sanctions list after he divested himself of most of his stake in En+.

This week, En + Group said it was “revisiting its strategy” for its Russia business.

The London-listed team said it was looking into the possibility of “countering” Rusal.

British-Swiss mining giant Glencore last week said it was reviewing its ownership of 10.55pc of its stake in En+. UK sanctions Russian tycoon linked to Aughinish Alumina of Limerick

Fry Electronics Team

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