US sanctions on Irish company ‘to be lifted’

US sanctions on an Irish industrial plant are due to be lifted, the Government in Dublin has said.

Limerick-based Aughinish Alumina’s parent company is Russian. It employs over 600 people and produces approximately a third of Europe’s alumina, a key input to aluminium production.

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has announced its intention to terminate sanctions imposed on UC Rusal plc, the Russian parent company.

A 30-day Congressional review period will follow.

Ireland’s deputy premier, Tanaiste Simon Coveney, said: “Today’s announcement is therefore a very welcome return on the intensive efforts made to protect Aughinish Alumina and the many jobs that are sustained and supported by the firm.

“While we need to await the conclusion of the congressional review period, today’s announcement should mean that Aughinish will soon no longer be impacted by the sanctions.”

Mr Coveney added: “Since sanctions targeting the business interests of certain Russian individuals were announced in April, the Government has engaged extensively with the US administration to outline the risks these measures posed to Aughinish Alumina and to work towards a solution which safeguarded the company’s future and the livelihoods of those employed there.”

Aughinish Alumina is an alumina processing company located on the banks of the River Shannon in Askeaton, Co Limerick.

In April the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 26 specific Russian individuals and 15 Russian companies, including Rusal, its parent company EN+ and its major shareholder – Oleg Deripaska.

Because of the manner in which such measures are applied, other companies, including Aughinish Alumina, which were owned or controlled by those specified firms, also effectively became sanctioned as well.