Iceland financial woes keep aluminum projects on hold

Dec 15, 2008 | 08:01 AM | Tom Jennemann

The short-term prospects of additional aluminum smelting capacity in Iceland has taken a significant step backwards as the North Atlantic country has been hit extremely hard by the global meltdown of financial markets and falling commodity prices.

Rio Tinto Alcan, Montreal, has told Icelandic officials that it has indefinitely suspended plans to increase primary production capacity at the Straumsvik smelter in southwest Iceland to 225,000 tonnes per year from 185,000 tonnes currently.

Also at risk is Century Aluminum Co.'s proposed 250,000-tonne-per-year primary aluminum smelter in Helguvik. Construction began earlier this year and the company had hoped that the 150,000-tonne-per-year first stage would go online by late 2010.....

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