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Alcoa to shutter idled aluminum smelter in Italy

Keywords: Tags  Alcoa, global primary products, Bob Wilt, Fusina, Italy, smelter, shutdown, production cuts aluminum

CHICAGO — Alcoa Inc. plans to permanently close its smelter in Fusina, Italy, in response to low aluminum prices, the company said June 28.

The smelter has been idled since mid-2010 (, May 12, 2010).

The Fusina smelter has annual capacity of 44,000 tonnes per year, and the removal of that potential production from the market comes in addition to the 460,000 tonnes of operating smelting capacity the New York-based aluminum producer has said it is considering taking offline.

The shutdown of the smelter will not impact Alcoa’s rolling mill in Fusina, the Pittsburgh-based company said.

Alcoa has said it is mulling cutting as much as 460,000 tonnes of smelter capacity over the next year in response to swooning aluminum tags (, May 1).

“The underlying conditions that led Alcoa to curtail the Fusina smelter in 2010 have not fundamentally changed,” Alcoa global primary products president Bob Wilt said in a statement. “Global aluminum prices remain weak, and we must take action to maintain Alcoa’s competitiveness.”

The cash primary aluminum contract on the London Metal Exchange ended the June 28 official session at $1,731 per tonne, down 4.7 percent from $1,815.50 per tonne on June 14 and off 18.5 percent from a 2013 high of $2,123 per tonne on Feb. 15.

The idled Fusina smelter employs 14 people, Alcoa said. The company said that it would look to redevelop the closed smelter and would also consult with local unions about social support for employees affected by the shutdown.

Restructuring charges related to the shutdown are expected to be between $30 million and $35 million after taxes, or approximately 3 cents per share, Alcoa said.

Alcoa acquired the Fusina smelter from Montedison Montedison SpA, an Italian industrial holding company, in April 2006. Located in front of Venice Lagoon, the facility is made up of 100 end-by-end pots which are supplied by 160 kiloamperes of electrical power, according to the company’s web site.

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