Alcoa Announces Restart Of 35 MTPA Of Capacity At Portland Aluminium Smelter

Alcoa Announces Restart Of 35 MTPA Of Capacity At Portland Aluminium Smelter

Pittsburgh aluminium pioneer Alcoa Corporation announced this week that the Portland aluminium smelter in Australia would soon be restarting 35 thousand metric tons of shuttered aluminium capacity.

Alcoa said in a press release that work on the restart will begin at once, with new aluminium to roll off the line in the fall of next year. Spinning back up the shuttered capacity, which was idled in 2009, is expected to add an additional 30 permanent jobs to the site as well as providing 50 temporary positions during the restart.

The restart is expected to cost US$28 million, of which Alcoa will provide about US$9 million. Along with the restart of 268 thousand metric tons per annum in Brazil, Alcoa will have about 82 percent of its nameplate capacity of 2.99 million metric tons per annum in operation.

Michael Gollschewski, Alcoa’s Vice President of Operations and President Alcoa Australia, explains on the firm’s rationale for the restart.

“Restarting the idle capacity improves the smelter’s cost structure, competitiveness and longer term sustainability. Portland Aluminium has long enjoyed the support of the local community and with this project we are pleased to be able to create further positive social impact through additional employment and local expenditure.”

Alcoa says the restarted capacity will be powered by AGL under a new four-year agreement. The agreement is in addition to a previously-announced five-year accord among the smelter, AGL, Alinta Energy, and Origin that first went into effect in August.

Portland Aluminium is operated as a joint venture among Alcoa of Australia (55 percent), CITIC Nominees Pty Ltd (22.5 percent), and Marubeni Aluminium Australia Pty Ltd (22.5 percent). Meanwhile Alcoa Corporation holds a 60-percent share in Alcoa of Australia Limited, while Alumina Limited holds the remaining 40 percent.