US Alcoa to close smelter, rolling mills in Australia

18 February 2014 16:00 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Alcoa plans to permanently close an aluminium smelter and two rolling mills in Australia, the US-based aluminium major said in a statement released late Monday.

The company's Point Henry smelter and an adjacent rolling mill are located in Geelong, Victoria state; the second mill is in Yennora, New South Wales.

The smelter will close in August and the rolling mills by the end of 2014. The closures affect 980 jobs.

The smelter has been under review for possible closure since February 2012.

“A comprehensive review found that the 50-year-old smelter has no prospect of becoming financially viable,” the company said.

“The two rolling mills serve the domestic and Asian can sheet markets which have been impacted by excess capacity,” it said.

Alcoa added that its Portland aluminium smelter in Victoria will continue normal operations, as will its bauxite mining and alumina refining operations in Western Australia.

Alumina production is a key downstream consumer of caustic soda.

By Stefan Baumgarten