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February 5, 2007
Re-Energized Potline Produces Employment and Stability at Alcoa Ferndale Operations
FERNDALE, Wash.--Alcoa Intalco Works aluminum smelter today produced the first molten
metal from a re-energized potline that will increase production at the
Ferndale operation by 7,500 metric tons per month.
The second potline was re-energized yesterday, only four months after
the project was announced in September 2006. When the re-start is
complete, the smelter will be operating at two-thirds capacity,
producing approximately 180,000 metric tons of aluminum per year.
Plant manager Mike Rousseau said the potline re-start was an important
milestone for the facility’s employees, their
families and the local community.
“This plant has had a turbulent history but
the re-start offers us all stability and a platform for a secure future.
“I congratulate everyone involved for their
support and contribution to bringing this project to fruition,”
More than 140 people have been employed at the smelter since the
announcement, bringing the total number of Alcoa personnel to
approximately 575. Approximately 200 contractors are also currently
employed on site.
“Integrating so many new employees can be a
challenge, but I am pleased to say that we have done it safely and ahead
of schedule. We are providing an estimated 360 hours of safety and
skills training for each new employee and that’s
just the beginning of our long-term training investment,”
Mr Rousseau said.
The smelter has not operated two potlines since April 2003. The re-start
was made possible due to favorable market conditions, as well as
benefits from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the State of
Washington, and a revised labor contract, secured in 2006.
The five-year BPA agreement, along with favorable market conditions,
enables the viable purchase of power to run the facility from the open
market until 2011. Alcoa views this agreement as a bridge to a
longer-term power contract in 2011. It is investing in facilities and
employees for this re-start on the assumption that an economical
longer-term contract will be offered by BPA following its formal record
of decision later this year.
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is the world's leading producer and manager of primary
aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in
all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace,
automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial
transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering,
production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers.
In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets
consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps,
Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses
are closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical
distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 124,000
employees in 44 countries and has been named one of the top most
sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in
Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com
Photographs will be available.