CHICAGO Century Aluminum Co. has completed its
acquisition of Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.s smelter in Sebree,
The Chicago-based aluminum producer said that the Sebree
smelter should complement its operations in Hawesville, Ky.,
roughly 60 miles away.
With the changes occurring in U.S. energy markets, we
believe Sebree, along with our existing smelter at Hawesville,
will be competitive in a global market, Century president
and chief executive officer Michael Bless said in a statement
A surge in natural gas production from shale formations in
North America has led gas prices to fall to historically low
In addition, Century has reached a tentative new power
agreement for its Hawesville smelter with utility Henderson,
Ky.-based Big Rivers Electric Corp. that would allow the
facility to get power from the open market (
amm.com, April 29
), it said.
Access to market-based power is a critical enabler for
sustained operations at Hawesville and Sebree. We believe the
framework reached with the power provider for market-priced
energy for Hawesville will serve as a model for Sebree,
Bless said June 3.
Centurys Hawesville smelter has a rated capacity of
244,000 tonnes of primary aluminum per year and employs
approximately 650 people. The Sebree plant employs more than
500 and is capable of producing 205,000 tonnes of primary
aluminum, Century said.
The two smelters account for an estimated 70 percent of Big
Rivers output, a factor that could give Century leverage
in negotiations (
amm.com, Feb. 8
Century agreed in April to acquire Rio Tinto Alcans
Sebree smelter for $61 million in cash and the assumption of $4
million in liabilities (
amm.com, April 29
But under the terms of the deal, Century also received $71
million in working capital from Rio Tinto Alcan, which will in
addition assume all past environmental liabilities and has
agreed to fully fund the operations pension plan.
Rio Tinto Alcan has said that it wants to continue to play a
role selling metal produced at the smelter and casthouse in
Sebree even after selling the operation to Century.
The Montreal-based aluminum company, which said it has already
agreed to honor all current commercial agreements for the sale
of billet and ingot from Sebree through the end of 2013, has
said it is in talks with Century to maintain some sourcing
presence at the facility in 2014 and beyond" (
amm.com, May 10