Norsk Hydro plans to shut down its 180,000-tpy Kurri Kurri
aluminium plant in Australia after a review showed that the
plant will not be profitable in the short term at current
market prices of aluminium.
The profitability of Hydros Kurri Kurri
plant has suffered
as a result of the continued weak
macro-economic conditions, with low metal prices and an
uncertain market outlook, as well as the strong Australian
dollar, the company said.
The current cash losses are significant, with no sign of
improvement anytime soon, said Hilde Merete Aasheim,
executive vp of Hydro
s primary metal business.
We have therefore started to consult about full
curtailment and will maintain a close dialogue with employees,
unions and local stakeholders, she said.
The Kurri Kurri plant has three pot lines with a total annual
production capacity of 180,000 tonnes. In January, Hydro
curtailed the plants No 1 potline, which was commissioned
in 1969, by 60,000 tonnes, which resulted in the loss of 150
The plant, located near Newcastle in New South Wales, employs
344 people and has a book value of about Norwegian Kroner 1.1
billion ($185 million).
Aluminium producers worldwide are struggling with lower prices
and overcapacity, but the situation in Australia is made more
challenging because of higher costs and the strength of the
UC Rusal recently said it may cut 600,000 tpy of aluminium
output from the second half of this year to cope with
continued uncertainty in the global economy.
Alcoa is considering the future of its loss-making 190,000-tpy
Port Henry aluminium smelter in Australia and will take a
decision by end of June.