NEW YORK Alcoa Inc. has
halted T-bar production at its 400,000-tonne-per-year
Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. (ABI) smelter in Quebec,
according to a source familiar with the facility.
"All T-production has been
halted. The T-molds (were) put into quarantine the end of last
week," the source told AMM. "Were hoping at
least one of the tables will be back by (Tuesday)."
The ABI smelter has also
experienced delays in changing anodes at the smelter, the
"Production at ABI is continuing
and there have been no customer impacts," an Alcoa spokeswoman
said, declining to comment further on production.
ABI produces aluminum P1020
ingot and T-bars, as well as billet.
The reduced production comes
just days before a labor contract covering some 900 ABI workers
expires. Alcoa and the United Steelworkers union have met
regularly since Sept. 11 in attempts to hash out a new deal.
The existing contract expires Nov. 22.
"Negotiations continued over the
weekend and are ongoing," the Alcoa spokeswoman said.
The union didnt respond to
requests for comment.
Domestic producers and extruders
have been buzzing about these discussions since midyear,
fearing that if the Pittsburgh-based producer and USW fail to
reach an agreement and workers either go on strike or are
locked out, the already-tight North American billet market
could become even more sparse next year.
"Were sitting here waiting
to see what happens in Quebec," one consumer said. "Thats
the next big thing. If (a strike) is just a matter of days, I
dont think its too much of an issue. But if (a
strike) extends to weeks, there would be an issue for everyone,
certainly in North America."
The USW started parking trailers
in front of the facility last week in anticipation of a lockout
amm.com, Nov. 13).
Alcoa owns 74.95 percent of ABI
and Rio Tinto Alcan, Montreal, owns 25.05 percent.