One of three potlines at Rio Tinto Group’s aluminium smelter at Hafnarfjörður has been idled due to a dearth of raw materials. Such was the announcement made to industry media on Tuesday.
“Operations at the ISAL smelter have been impacted recently due to irregularities in raw material inputs,” revealed Rio Tinto media representative Matthew Klar via email to S&P Global Platts earlier this week.
“We have taken steps to safely stabilize operations with a controlled shutdown of one potline and are working closely with customers to minimize any impacts,” he continued.
Rio Tinto provided no further details regarding the plant’s difficulty obtaining raw materials.
Rio Tinto Iceland Ltd’s (ISAL) aluminium smelter has a nameplate capacity of 210 thousand metric tons per annum of liquid metal and 230 thousand metric tons per annum of extrusion ingot, accounting for about 6 percent of Rio Tinto’s annual aluminium output.
The Straumsvík smelter was the subject of a planned sale to Norsk Hydro in February 2018 as part of a deal that included a majority share in anode plant Aluminium & Chemie Rotterdam B.V. (Aluchemie) in the Netherlands and a half interest in the fluoride plant Alufluor AB in Sweden. However, the US$345 million deal was never consummated, and Hydro obtained a termination agreement from Rio Tinto to end the sale.