Bosnia record in exports, output of aluminium

MOSTAR, Bosnia (Reuters) – Bosnia’s sole aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar reported a record annual production of 121,000 tons of metal in 2006 and exports worth some -240 million ($314.5 million). General manager Mijo Brajkovic said on Friday output and exports increased by 10 and 70 percent respectively from the year before and announced plans for a further production boost. «Thanks to the modernization of our facilities we are planning to reach an output of up to 145,000 tons of metal this year,» Brajkovic told a news conference. He said that Aluminij planned a $40 million investment to increase annual production, the first stage of a planned -300 million investment to build a new plant. The partial sale of Aluminij is one of Bosnia’s top economic priorities for 2007, though a tender for the sale of an 88 percent stake in the smelter was blocked last month by the energy minister of Bosnia’s Muslim-Croat Federation, who said the minimum price for the stake was set too low at 150 million Bosnian marka ($102.5 million).