Tajik Aluminium Company (Talco), Tajikistan’s flagship aluminium smelter and the backbone of the Tajik economy, will reportedly get a facelift by China’s state-owned engineering company CMEC. According to Talco representative, the refurbishment cost will be around US$545 million.
On Friday, May 19, a representative for Talco confirmed to AFP via telephone that "the contract between CMEC (China Machinery Engineering Corporation) and Talco was signed on April 15." However, the details on how Talco would finance the deal are not revealed by the representative yet.
Tajikistan’s Talco aluminium smelter is a key industrial asset in an impoverished and mostly agrarian country of 9 million bordering China. Over the past years, the smelter’s annual production found dwindling. In 2018, the production fell 7.2 per cent, while its Soviet-era equipment is in sore need of upgrading.
According to the report, Chinese companies in the recent year have acquired a number of mineral concessions in Tajikistan, come of which have been granted to pay the investment loans.
In 2018, Talco had launched a mining venture with Chinese company Tibet Huayu Mining Co. Ltd. It was expected to produce 1.5 tonnes of gold and 16,000 tonnes of antimony annually.