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December 20, 2018

Alcoa curtails some smelting capacity at Quebec facility

Alcoa says it will immediately begin to curtail half of the one operating potline at the Aluminerie de Becancour (ABI) smelter in Quebec.

By Rhodri Morgan

Alcoa says it will immediately begin to curtail half of the one operating potline at the Aluminerie de Becancour (ABI) smelter in Quebec.

The Becancour aluminium smelter, owned by Alcoa (74.95%) and Rio Tinto Alcan (25.05%), has nameplate capacity of 413,000 metric tons per year, across its three potlines. Two of the facility’s potlines were curtailed in January this year, after union members rejected a proposed labour agreement for hourly employees.

“Since the lockout, ABI’s salaried employees have operated the one potline, performed maintenance, restored stability and improved metal quality,” said an ABI statement.

“The additional curtailment, however, is necessary to ensure continued safety and maintenance in light of recent retirements and departures. The salaried employees who remain will continue to ensure that the smelter can be ready for a potential restart.

“The one operating line has a nameplate capacity of 138,000 metric tons per year, of which 103,000 metric tons represent Alcoa Corporation’s ownership interest. This partial curtailment is expected to be complete by Friday, 21 December 2018.”

After extensive negotiations this year, ABI and the union have yet to reach an agreement on key terms to improve productivity and profitability.

ABI’s management remains committed to reaching a negotiated agreement.

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