The largest aluminium smelter in France is cutting production by 15 percent due to the continued rise of electric prices.
On Friday, a spokesperson for the Dunkerque aluminium smelter made the announcement, noting that production has already been dropped by a tenth. The 285 thousand metric tons per annum smelter will cut the remaining 5 percent over the course of this week, the spokesperson noted.
For its part, the local union at the site told a local radio station that cuts would probably reach 25 percent at the current rate of power price increases.
About 60 percent of the plant’s electricity is sold at preferential rates, leaving the other 40 percent at the mercy of the market’s prices. The plant is one of several industrial sites on the European continent to enact production cuts in response to a jump in power prices.
The Dunkirk aluminium smelter is also one of several French firms in talks with the government and the state-owned power plant EDF about relief on energy prices. The French finance minister announced late last week that the government is crafting a relief measure package, with hopes that it will be delivered before presidential elections in the spring.
Sanjay Gupta’s GFG Alliance entered last year as the owner of the plant, but American Industrial Partners wrested control away from GFG a few months ago in a contentious default by GFG. Litigation and investigations of the transfer continue.