By Paul Ploumis (ScrapMonster Author)
January 11, 2016 05:39:27 AM
RICHMOND (Scrap Monster): Aluminum major, Alcoa has decided to permanently shut down the alumina smelter operations at Evansville, Indiana. According to company announcement, the 269,000 metric ton Warrick Operations smelter will undergo permanent closure by end of March this year. However, the rolling mill and power plant operations will continue, Alcoa clarified. The decision is part of strategies aimed at improving the competitiveness of its upstream operations.
The shutdown of part of aluminum manufacturing operations at Warrick Operations smelter is believed to impact around 600 jobs. John Martin, Alcoa's vice president of U.S. smelting operations thanked employees for their efforts and assured that the company would extend all possible assistance to help minimize the impact of job cuts. He further noted that the smelter operations at the site failed to turn out to become competitive despite employee efforts, which in turn has forced the company to arrive at the hard decision.
In addition, the company has also announced that the remaining 810,000 metric tons of refining capacity at its Point Comfort operations in Texas will be curtailed by the end of Q2 2016. The company is on target to curtail alumina production by 1 million metric tons by end of June this year.
Recently, Alcoa had decided to split itself into two separate publicly traded companies. The upstream company is to take care of the company’s business related to bauxite-mining, alumina-refining, aluminum-production, casting and energy. The upstream company is to be called Alcoa. The second entity, which will be called “value-add company”, will include global rolled products, engineered products and solutions, and transportation-and-construction businesses.
Alcoa forecasts improving supply-demand balances in alumina and aluminum markets during 2016.