CHICAGO Aleris International Inc. plans to temporarily halt production and lay off workers at its rolling mill in Richmond, Va., which has suffered its third fire in less than a year.
The Cleveland-based aluminum products maker plans to halt production by the end of this week for six to eight weeks as it makes repairs to a fire-damaged furnace at the plant, a company spokesman told AMM by phone Feb. 4.
Customers will be supplied by other Aleris facilities and should not be affected by the production stop, the spokesman said. But approximately 50 workers at the Richmond plant will be temporarily laid off, he said.
Aleris does not yet know the extent of the damage or potential financial impacts that could result from the fire and repairs, but the company is committed to restarting the plant, the spokesman said.
The only metric (on damages) I have at this point is that we will implement the temporary stop in production this week, the spokesman said. But our full intent is that we will reopen.
The most recent fire, which broke out at the aluminum rolled products facility early Jan. 29 (amm.com, Jan. 29), followed another fire in May 2012, (amm.com, May 3)as well as a blaze in April, that also forced production to stop (amm.com, April 30) .
The same furnace that was damaged by the April fire was also damaged by the most recent fire, the spokesman said.
The Richmond facilitya former Reynolds Metals plantfounded in 1959, melts scrap to make 3025 mill finish sheet, according to Aleris website. Its main products are trim coil, aluminum gutters and downspouts, and aluminum siding, the website said.