RusAl Says Unrest Near Guinea Plant Stabilizing

United Company RusAl, the world's largest primary aluminum producer, said Wednesday that unrest near its bauxite mine and refinery in Fria, Guinea, was "stabilizing" after power supplies were restored to the town.

RusAl on Tuesday completed maintenance work at the power station that supplies the company's operations and the town, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The refinery, which produces 640,000 tons of alumina per year, is operating as normal, RusAl said.

The facility -- the sole alumina refinery in Guinea -- is run by the Alumina Company of Guinea, which is controlled by RusAl.

The power plant that feeds RusAl's operations in Fria, 160 kilometers north of the capital, Conakry, also supplies free electricity to the town. Three days of power cuts caused unrest in the West African country, including roadblocks and attacks on the homes of RusAl workers, a company official said.

Wives and children of expatriate workers had been evacuated to other towns while workers spent the night inside a company compound, the official said. Several of their vehicles were looted.

One witness in the town said Tuesday that the security forces had fired shots into the air to disperse the protesters.

"At the moment people are talking about one person wounded, but I think there must be more, even if they are only light wounds," the resident said, declining to be identified.

RusAl suffered an 8.6 percent drop in bauxite ore output in the first quarter of last year amid political unrest in Guinea, which holds one-third of the world's bauxite reserves.

A six-week national strike disrupted work at ports and rail stations and prompted violent protests that left at least 113 people dead.