Metals News
Alcoa to Restart U.S. Aluminum Production Capacity
industry news
Jan 10,2011

(Bloomberg)--Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, plans to restart idled capacity at three smelters, adding 137,000 metric tons of output this year.

Alcoa will restart potlines at Massena East in Massena, New York, Wenatchee Works in Malaga, Washington, and Intalco in Ferndale, Washington, the company said today in a statement. A potline is a row of electrolytic cells that smelt alumina to produce aluminum.

The plan will add about 260 jobs and boost Alcoa’s annual production by 200,000 tons after this year, the New York-based company said.

“We believe this additional capacity will be absorbed in the market as Alcoa meets rising demand,” Bob Wilt, president of Alcoa’s U.S. primary products unit, said in the statement.

Alcoa, which reports fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 10, is raising output after metal prices rose. Aluminum for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange traded today at $2,524 a ton, the most since Sept. 24, 2008. It was $7.50 lower at $2,511 as of 1:58 p.m. in London.

The cost of electricity at Wenatchee and Massena is about 40 percent below the global average, Alcoa said. The company will have 674,000 tons of idled capacity remaining once the restarts are complete, it said.


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