Alcoa Announces Further Production Cuts

Company will close or curtail 164,000 metric tons of aluminum capacity in the United States and Brazil.

August 27, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Nonferrous

The aluminum firm Alcoa has announced plans to reduce its production of aluminum by around 164,000 metric tons by closing production at two locations. The cuts are part of Alcoa’s earlier announced plans to reduce its aluminum capacity by 460,000 metric tons to balance supply and demand. Alcoa had made the announcement on the cuts in May 2013.

To reduce its capacity by 146,000 metric tons the company has decided to permanently remove one potline at its Massena East plant in New York. The closure will remove 40,000 metric tons from the market. Additionally, the company will temporarily curtail around 124,000 metric tons of aluminum from its smelter operations in Brazil. The closures and curtailments are expected to be complete by October 2013.

“We committed in May to review our global smelting capacity for possible curtailment to maintain the company’s competitiveness,” says Bob Wilt, president of Alcoa’s Global Primary Products. “Aluminum prices, including premiums, have fallen to four-year lows and we continue to operate in an uncertain, volatile market.”

To date, Alcoa has announced closures or curtailments representing 269,000 metric tons of the 460,000 metric tons placed under review in May. This includes the permanent closure of 105,000 metric tons of capacity announced earlier this year at Alcoa’s Baie-Comeau smelter in Canada. In addition, Alcoa permanently closed its Fusina, Italy smelter representing 44,000 metric tons that was not part of the May review.

Once the Massena and Brazil closures and curtailments are complete, Alcoa will have idled 16 percent, or 646,800 metric tons of smelting capacity.