13. Juli 2017 | Branche, Technologie

Alcoa restarts aluminium smelter at Warrick Operations

Alcoa Corporation is restarting three of five potlines at its Warrick Operations aluminium smelter near Evansville, Indiana – a step that will further improve the competitiveness of the on-site rolling mill. The process to restart the three lines, with 161,400 tonnes of annual capacity, is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2018. The three potlines will directly supply the Warrick rolling mill, which serves the North American market with flat-rolled aluminium for the food and beverage can packaging industry. The smelter’s molten metal will supplement purchased scrap metal and other raw materials that the Warrick site will continue to procure.

Alcoa Warrick Operations produces aluminium sheet for beverage and food can ends, tabs, and other flat-rolled aluminum products.

“By restarting a portion of the Warrick smelter, we will provide an efficient source of metal for the co-located rolling mill and help it meet an anticipated increase in production volumes,” said Tim Reyes, president of Alcoa’s Aluminium business unit. “The action will enable us to more fully utilize the assets at this integrated site for the benefit of our investors, customers, employees and the community.”

The smelter at Warrick closed in March of 2016. Two of the five smelting potlines will be classified as curtailed capacity and will remain idle. After this partial restart, Alcoa will have about 886,000 tonnes idled of its total smelting capacity of 3.4 million tonnes.

Restart expenses expected to be incurred in Q3 and Q4 2017 are estimated to be between USD30-35 million (after-tax). Additionally, in Q3 2017, Alcoa will record an after-tax benefit of USD25 million for the reversal of liabilities related to the original closure.

The Warrick location currently employs about 1,250 people. The restart will increase the site’s employment by 275, including those who will be hired or recalled from layoff status. Some existing employees will transfer to the smelter.