Tajikistan plans to produce around 190 thousand tons of aluminum this year, compared to 121 thousand tons in 2014, Avesta news agency reported citing Tajikistan’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sharif Rakhimzoda.

Last year the average price of aluminum was $1,870 per ton.

According to the minister, early in 2014 the ministry forecasted aluminum production at 150 thousand tons, but last year’s decline in the output was caused by lowering aluminum prices in the international market. “Tajikistan Aluminum Company (TALCO) is currently cooperating with the Norwegian company Hydro, and this cooperation will help increase TALCO’s production and sales of aluminum,” he said.

TALCO is the largest state-owned enterprise in Tajikistan with the designed capacity of 500,000 tons of aluminum per year. The company accounts for 45 percent of Tajikistan’s GDP and 90 percent of the foreign exchange earnings. It is one of the largest taxpayers and plays a pivotal role in the national economy.

In 2014, Tajikistan exported 125 thousand tons of aluminum for a total of $234 million.

On January 14, the Tajik parliament ratified the agreement between the Tajik Government and the Export-Import Bank of China on a concessional loan for construction of a cryolite plant, an aluminum fluoride plant, and a sulphuric acid plant as part of reconstruction and modernization of TALCO.

The total cost of the project is $125.5 million, $38 million of which will be provided by TALCO and the remaining amount will be provided by China’s Eximbank.