Power deal sustains insolvent Voerde Aluminium

Fri May 25, 2012 11:18am EDT

* Plant continues full production

* Casting shop sold, hopes for sale of main plant

HAMBURG May 25 (Reuters) - Insolvent German aluminium plant Voerde Aluminium has agreed a deal to maintain power supplies and is continuing production as the search goes on for a buyer, its provisional administrator said on Friday.

The Voerde smelter, which produces 115,000 tonnes of aluminium annually, declared insolvency on May 4.

Germany's metals industry association said the Voerde case illustrates the danger to German metal output from the country's high electricity prices.

Agreement has been reached with power utilities about continued electricity supplies to Voerde without the financial guarantees previously requested, provisional administrator Frank Kebekus said in a statement.

Continued power supplies were a "fundamental requirement" for continued operations, he said. The plant's main aluminium production units, the anode and electrolysis sections, are "continuing full operations," he said.

Kebekus said he hoped to find a buyer for the main plant, based in the central German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the "near future."

An unnamed Voerde Aluminium customer has signed an initial agreement to purchase the plant's casting shop which has 125 of Voerde's 410 employees.

Final terms of the cast shop sale are still being negotiated but should be completed before the opening of full insolvency hearings on July 1, he said. (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by David Cowell)