November 26, 2008

Alcoa to curtail Portland Aluminium production

As part of Alcoa Inc’s curtailment of 350,000 tonnes of aluminium production across its global smelting system (announced 10 November 2008),  Alcoa of Australia today confirmed it will curtail Portland Aluminium’s production by less than 5 per cent, commencing Monday 1 December 2008.

Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Alan Cransberg said the curtailments are part of Alcoa Inc’s strategy to reduce output across its global smelting system in response to lower end-market demand and global economic softness.

“Alcoa of Australia is a strong and high performing business but, like many companies, we are facing unprecedented economic challenges and lower market demand that require us to reassess our operations.

“At Portland we also face high energy costs that link to the units of production being curtailed.”

Portland Aluminium will progressively reduce production within the next three months by ceasing to replace smelting pots as they reach the end of their tenure.

This curtailment will see 15,000 tonnes shaved off normal production of 358,000 tonnes per annum.

“The industry is in surplus and has experienced an unprecedented fall in aluminium prices over a very short period of time,” Mr Cransberg said.

“Our future remains bright and Australia is one of Alcoa’s strongest regions.

“However in the current economic environment and an impending carbon pollution reduction scheme, it’s critical we focus our efforts on cutting costs, delivering greater efficiencies and working with our people to improve how we run the business.

“We are continually reviewing every aspect of our operations to maximize profitability while aligning production with demand.”

There will be no Alcoa of Australia/Portland Aluminium job losses, with a reduction of 18-20 contractor positions.

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