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Noranda project to boost electrical efficiency

Keywords: Tags  Noranda Aluminum Holding, aluminum, electrical effeciency, aluminum smelter, New Madrid smelter, Layle Smith, Andrea Hotter

CORONADA, Calif. — A project to increase capacity at Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp’.s New Madrid smelter in Missouri will boost the company’s electrical efficiency, president and chief executive officer Layle K. "Kip" Smith told AMM.

Reliability and capacity upgrades to the smelter’s rectifier will add an additional 35 million pounds of capacity once completed, he said.

"We buy as much electricity at New Madrid as the entire city of Springfield, Mo., so even a small per-pound improvement in a (direct current) kilowatt usage is beneficial to us," Smith said.

"All the pounds of aluminum production there will see an electrical efficiency improvement," he said, adding that there was around $28 million of project spending remaining.

"We drive to make a pound of aluminum as cost effectively as possible. We try never to sell just a pound of primary aluminum, we try to fabricate everything to ensure there’s a value-added premium," Smith said. "We’re pretty successful at that. The New Madrid project is typical and in line with that strategy."

Franklin, Tenn.-based Noranda’s strategy is driven by three key components: integration, productivity and value-added growth, he said.

Upstream integration allows the security of supply for key raw materials to enable Noranda to manage and control costs, while downstream integration gives the producer security of demand, Smith said.

New Madrid is Noranda’s largest facility, with 980 employees. The fully integrated smelter has its own raw materials unloading facility, environmental control systems and aluminum reduction plant, including carbon anode fabrication.

The site also houses a fabrication facility to produce continuous cast rod, extrusion billet and foundry ingot.

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