Pasar operations resumed on July 4-A A +A
Saturday, July 14, 2012
THE Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (Pasar), the country’s only copper refinery, announced the resumption of its operations last July 4.
“Pasar commenced the re-commissioning process of its smelting operations. Over the coming weeks, we will progressively restart all areas of the plant and return to normal production,” Pasar president, and chief executive officer David Halley said in a statement.
“We are re-commissioning the smelter, refinery and other support plants, and facilities with normal operational workforce levels, as we have not made any material changes in our processes,” Halley added.
During the six months rehabilitation from January to June, Pasar said it utilized 37 percent more contractual workers, or an additional 300 workers, essential for the maintenance and repairs throughout the plant.
“We also have not availed of the temporary lay-off option provided by our labor laws during the shutdown, thus we were able to maintain our skilled workforce. In fact, we had a lower departure rate for the first half of 2012 compared to our 2011 level,” Halley said.
Pasar temporarily stopped operations in January after a fire gutted the plant’s anti-pollution device. The company reportedly procured new anti-pollution devices from China to replace the damaged equipment.
Pasar processes 720,000 tons of copper concentrate a year, or 60,000 tons a month, and the refinery has an annual capacity of 215,000 tons of cathodes.
It has been producing copper cathodes for export since 1976, and operates on an 80-hectare site within the Leyte Industrial Development Estate (LIDE) in Isabel, Leyte.
Acquired by Glencore in 1999 from the Philippine government, PASAR buys and refines copper from mines in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Canada, Southeast Asia, and South America. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)