Alcoa Breaks Ground on Primary Smelter Upgrade

Massena, N.Y., smelter to receive $600 million in capital improvements.

July 9, 2013
Recycling Today Staff

Alcoa has conducted an official groundbreaking at its Alcoa East primary aluminum smelter in Massena, N.Y. According to an announcement by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, the modernization and upgrade of the facility includes a state commitment to supply 478 megawatts of low-cost electricity that will help lead to the long-term retention of nearly 1,000 jobs.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a major step forward for the modernization project of the Alcoa facility in Massena,” says Gov. Cuomo.

“Alcoa is pleased to work with the State of New York and the community to ensure that we remain an integral part of the North Country’s economic development,” says Alcoa’s U.S. Primary Products President John Martin.

Alcoa has committed to protect nearly 1,000 jobs at its Massena facilities and undertake capital investments of at least $600 million, of which $42 million is currently being spent on site preparation for a new aluminum production potline at the Massena East plant.

In related news, Alcoa also has announced plans to close its Fusina, Italy, smelter. The closure of that primary aluminum smelter, which has been idle since June 2010, will reduce the aluminum giant’s global aluminum smelting capacity by 44,000 metric tons.

In announcing its decision to permanently close the Fusina smelter, Bob Wilt, Alcoa’s global primary products president, says, “The underlying conditions that led Alcoa to curtail the Fusina smelter in 2010 have not fundamentally changed. Global aluminum prices remain weak and we must take action to maintain Alcoa’s competitiveness.”

Alcoa’s Fusina rolling mill will continue to operate.