3 Jul 2009

Amid delays, Vale Inco yet to give start-up date for New Caledonia nickel plant

4:30 pm on 3 July 2009

Vale Inco has still to announce when it will start to operate its large nickel plant in the Southern Province of New Caledonia.

The plant was originally planned to go into full production in the middle of this year.

The company's managing director in New Caledonia, Jean-Francois David, says delays are usual in the industry because there can be slippage in the calendar related to the commissioning and testing stages.

He says the reason why Vale Inco is not able to give any specific date is because there is a complex testing and verifying stage to go through before the plant is ready to operate.

"We are in the process to finishing the works, commissioning the plant, in view to start to operate before the end of this year. We are working on different scenarios, one scenario could head to end of August, but we have other scenarios depending on the progress of the commissioning."

Jean-Francois David