Pittsburgh aluminium pioneer Alcoa Corporation announced this week that it has come to an agreement with the labor force at San Ciprián aluminium smelter in Spain on a two-year closure of the plant in response to the jump in the cost of powering the plant in recent months and years.
Per the firm, the plant will begin closure activities on Saturday and halt its 228 thousand metric tons per annum capacity through the end of December 2023. Alcoa anticipates completing closure activities by month’s end. For its part, the labor force on site agreed to end its strike, which affected operations at both the aluminium smelter and the alumina refinery.
Alcoa President and CEO Roy Harvey said in a press release that the agreement was an important step in returning the troubled aluminium smelter to productivity.
“With this agreement, we now have a path to resolve the significant challenges that the facility has faced and can begin to build a stronger smelter in two years. This has been a challenging road for everyone involved, and we look forward to the future, working constructively with our employees and stakeholders to implement the agreement we reached.”
Alcoa also agreed to invest US$68 million in capital expenditures at the site and US$35 million for restart costs in 2024. The firm will also continue to provide pay and benefits for the plant’s labor force during the curtailment, to extend its contracts with contractors through the end of the production curtailment, and to have a collective bargaining agreement in place that will boost employees’ pay.
Alcoa has also committed to forestall any collective dismissal process until at least 2026.
Curtailment of the aluminium smelting plant will not affect the casthouse at the site, and the alumina refinery there will continue as before it did prior to the strike.