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Spectro Alloys output hit by pipeline explosion

Jan 28, 2014 | 01:01 PM |

Tags  Spectro Alloys, TransCanada, secondary aluminum smelter, critical status, pipeline explosion, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — A TransCanada Corp. natural gas pipeline explosion near Otterburne, Manitoba, roughly 35 miles south of Winnipeg, has led to a production curtailment at Midwest secondary aluminum producer Spectro Alloys Corp.

Spectro, in Rosemont, Minn., was without gas for two days after the Jan. 25 explosion, a company spokesman told AMM Jan. 28. The facility is located approximately 460 miles south of where the explosion occurred.

“Yesterday the critical status was lifted and we are allowed to operate at a reduced level, still under curtailment,” the spokesman added. “We are told that the curtailment should be fully lifted tomorrow and we can resume at full production. Our intent is to run through the weekend to get caught up as we typically are down on weekends.”

Spectro Alloys consumes scrap aluminum and operates one of the largest volume aluminum smelting plants in the United States, according to its website. The company produces all of the most commonly used aluminum alloys for die casting, foundry alloys, and permanent mold and invest cast.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown, Karl Johannson, TransCanada executive vice president and president of natural gas, said at a news conference Jan. 27. He added it could take weeks to determine the cause of the rupture.

Canada’s transportation safety board has deployed an investigator to the site of the explosion. “There is a crater about 30 feet in diameter, about 10 feet deep, and we have started inspecting fragment of pipes,” the investigator told CBC News Jan. 27.

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