LONDON Alcoa Inc. has agreed to maintain its Portovesme aluminum smelter on the Italian island of Sardinia until the end of June 2014, rather than just the end of this year, to allow more time for a possible sale, according to the Italian ministry of economic development.
The Pittsburgh-based company told a meeting that included undersecretary Claudio De Vincenti and Sardinian regional president Ugo Cappellacci, as well as trade union organizations, that its negotiations with Geneva-based commodities investor Klesch Group had "concluded negatively."
But at the request of the ministry, Alcoa agreed to maintain the plant for a further six months and confirmed its intention to sell the operation.
The ministry said it does not take for granted the failure of the deal with Klesch, and reserves the right to contact the group again to further investigate the terms of negotiation. At the same time, it said it will continue scouting for other potential buyers at both the national and international levels.
The Portovesme smelter ceased production in November 2012 after a possible sale to Switzerland-based Glencore International Plc (now Glencore Xstrata Plc) fell through (amm.com, Nov. 12).
Market participants said it is unlikely the Portovesme smelter will ever restart.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.