January 9, 2012
Alcoa Plans to Curtail Smelters in Italy and Spain as part of Global Primary Restructuring
Portovesme, La Coruña and Avilés Among Highest-Cost Producers
NEW YORK - Alcoa announced today that the Company intends to curtail operations at three European aluminum smelters as part of a previously announced restructuring in its Global Primary Products business. The restructuring will reduce the Company’s global smelting capacity by 12 percent or 531,000 metric tons.
Operations at Alcoa’s Portovesme, Italy, as well as La Coruña and Avilés, Spain, smelters are designated for curtailment, with the intended actions to be completed in the first half of 2012. The facilities are among the highest-cost producers in the Alcoa system. Last week, Alcoa announced the permanent closure of the Company’s smelter in Alcoa, Tennessee, and two potlines at its Rockdale, Texas, smelter.
At Portovesme, Alcoa will begin the consultation process to permanently close the facility. The La Coruña and Avilés curtailments are planned to be partial and temporary. An uncompetitive energy position, combined with rising raw material costs and falling aluminum prices, led to the planned curtailment of the facilities.
The curtailments represent 240,000 metric tons, or about 5 percent, of Alcoa’s global smelting capacity. Total capacity at Portovesme is 150,000 metric tons. Capacity at La Coruña and Avilés is 87,000 and 93,000 metric tons per year, respectively.
“In today’s rapidly changing global economy, it is imperative to respond quickly to maintain competitiveness,” said Chris Ayers, Alcoa Executive Vice President and President, Alcoa Global Primary Products. “This decision was made after thorough analysis of all the possible alternatives. We are committed to working to find solutions that will minimize the impact on these communities and our workers there.”
Alcoa will immediately begin consultation with the relevant employee representatives and governments. The total employment impact will not be determined until consultations are completed. Current employment at the three plants is about 1,500.
The curtailments will contribute to Alcoa’s long-term goal of improving its position on the world aluminum production cost curve by 10 percentage points. This action will also increase Alcoa’s competitiveness in the current volatile aluminum marketplace. Aluminum prices have fallen more than 27 percent from their peak in 2011.
In addition to the closures and curtailments, Alcoa will aggressively accelerate actions to reduce the cost of raw materials used by its Primary Products business and will adjust capacity across the Company’s global refining system to reflect internal demand as well as prevailing market conditions.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 10 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.
This release contains statements that relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include those containing such words as “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “should,” “will” or other words of similar meaning. All statements that reflect Alcoa’s expectations, assumptions or projections about the future other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, forecasts concerning global demand for aluminum or other trend projections, anticipated financial results or operating performance, and statements about Alcoa’s strategies, goals, targets, outlook and business and financial prospects. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors and are not guarantees of future performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include: (a) material adverse changes in aluminum industry conditions, including global supply and demand conditions and fluctuations in London Metal Exchange-based prices for primary aluminum, alumina and other products; (b) deterioration in global economic or financial market conditions generally; (c) unfavorable changes in the end markets served by Alcoa; (d) Alcoa’s inability to mitigate impacts from increases in energy costs or the costs of other raw materials; (e) Alcoa’s inability to achieve the level of cost savings, improvement in profitability and margins, revenue growth, cash generation, fiscal discipline, or strengthening of operations (including moving its smelting and refining businesses down on the industry cost curve and increasing revenues in its Flat-Rolled Products and Engineered Products and Solutions segments) anticipated from its restructuring programs, productivity improvement, cash sustainability and other initiatives; (f) political, economic, and regulatory risks in the countries in which Alcoa operates or sells products, including the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates on costs and results, and unfavorable changes in laws and governmental policies, civil unrest, and other events beyond Alcoa’s control; (g) the outcome of contingencies, including legal proceedings, government investigations, and environmental remediation; and (h) the other risk factors summarized in Alcoa’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, Forms 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2011, June 30, 2011 and September 30, 2011, and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Alcoa disclaims any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether in response to new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.