April 19, 2018 / 8:56 AM / in a year

UPDATE 1-Nord Pool suspends Rusal's Swedish unit from its power market

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LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - Nord Pool has suspended Rusal’s aluminium production facility in Sweden from trading on its exchange as of April 18, Europe’s leading power market said on its website, after the United States imposed sanctions on the Russian firm.

The Kubal smelter in Sweden is Rusal’s only primary metal production facility outside of Russia. It produced 123,000 tonnes of metal last year or 3 percent of the total.

The U.S. Treasury Department on April 6 imposed sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and 12 firms they own or control, saying they were profiting from a Russian state engaged in “malign activities” around the world.

This includes Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer after China Hongqiao Group.

Rusal is heavily dependent on its international network of mines and refineries. Last year these accounted for 53 percent of its output of raw material ore bauxite and 64 percent of production of semi-processed sister alumina.

The company may be forced to divest most of its portfolio of overseas operations if the aluminium giant cannot restructure them to evade U.S. sanctions and ensure a flow of raw materials.

Mining Group Rio Tinto said last week it would declare force majeure on certain customer contracts after the U.S. imposed sanctions on its partner Rusal.

Reporting by Pratima Desai; Editing by Susan Fenton

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