LONDON, July 29 -- Century Aluminum Co. is working to secure financing and power supply contracts for its planned Helguvik smelter project in Iceland in order to restart construction of the plant, the company's Chief Executive said late Tuesday.
The U.S. aluminum producer halted construction at Helguvik last year after the global financial crisis make financial backing of the project difficult.
"The financing and other preparations for our new smelter at Helguvik are proceeding," said Logan Kruger. "Final negotiations on amendments to our Helguvik power supply contracts will be a primary factor in determining the timing of the restart of major construction and engineering activity," he added.
In September, Century said it had appointed BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and ING Bank NV to serve as exclusive structuring banks in order to raise project financing from the international debt markets.
Century in 2006 signed a memorandum of understanding with two Icelandic geothermal power producers for the supply of energy to produce up to 150,000 metric tons a year of aluminum in the first phase, rising ultimately to 250,000 tons a year.
But last August, Century said it planned to construct the smelter in four 90,000-ton phases that will eventually yield an annual production capacity of 360,000 tons.