Massena Operations Modernization - Overview
The Massena Modernization Project (MMP) will represent a multi-million-dollar investment by Alcoa in our smelting operations and will secure the plant’s significant economic impact and hundreds of manufacturing jobs for several decades. The project will also make Massena Operations more competitive in the global marketplace. Plans call for a project that is cost-effective, sustainable, good for the employees, good for the community and respectful of the environment.
Given the age and competitive challenges of the technology, the Massena East Plant (formerly Reynolds Metals) is the focus of the MMP. The 2007 agreement on a long-term competitively-priced hydropower contract with the New York Power Authority paved the way for planning and design work to begin in earnest on the Project.
On April 5, 2013 Alcoa announced its intention to move forward with the next phase of the MMP, which includes spending $52 million through 2015 for site work and support projects that will begin in June. This is in addition to $40 million that has already been spent on the project.
The Modernization Project in its entirety includes construction of a new potline at Massena East which will produce 144,000 Metric Tons of aluminum per year, upgrades to existing facilities at Massena West and modifications to other existing facilities that will help integrate the two plants and support the new potline. The most significant part of the Project is building a new potroom at the East Plant and replacing the current “Soderberg” technology at that facility with the more modern “pre-bake” technology like what is currently used at the West Plant. “Pots” are the steel-lined containers in which molten aluminum is made (smelted). They are arranged in long rows in large buildings called potrooms. The new potroom at Massena East will be similar in appearance and operation to the Massena West potrooms. To learn more about the aluminum-making process, click here.
Work to be done through 2015 in preparation for construction of the potline includes the relocation of transmission lines; upgrades to the East Plant’s ore gallery, which is a conveyor system that transports alumina within the plant; installation of a power management system which will allow us to better manage electricity consumption at both plants; grading of the site and the installation of a new substation in partnership with the New York Power Authority.
Because of the way the pre-bake pots operate, once the Modernization Project is complete the East Plant will see significant improvements in air quality and emissions, less waste generated in the aluminum-making process and a significant reduction in the amount of dust employees have to work around, creating safer, better working conditions. Click here to learn more about the Environmental Benefits of the Project.
The Project will cost at least $600 million, as required by the power contract, and will employ several hundred temporary construction workers throughout the course of the major construction phase. Information for interested contractors or suppliers can be found here.