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Alcoa to restart curtailed aluminum smelting capacity at Portland Aluminium in Australia

Alcoa Corporation announced that the Portland Aluminium joint venture plans to restart 35,000 metric tons per year (mtpy) of curtailed capacity at its aluminum smelter in the State of Victoria in Australia.

The process to restart the capacity, which has been idle since 2009, will begin immediately, with metal production expected to start in the third quarter of 2022.

Portland Aluminium is an unincorporated joint venture with 358,000 mtpy of total capacity, and Alcoa Corporation has 197,000 mtpy of consolidated capacity. Once the restart is complete, Portland Aluminium will operate at approximately 95% of total capacity and Alcoa Corporation will have approximately 186,000 mtpy of its consolidated capacity at Portland operating.

The project is expected to create approximately 30 permanent roles at the smelter and about 50 temporary construction positions. The smelter currently has a workforce of about 680, consisting of both direct employees and contractors.

Energy to operate the restored capacity will be supplied under a new four-year agreement with power generator AGL. It will supplement the earlier announced five-year energy agreements with AGL, Alinta Energy and Origin that commenced on 1 August 2021.

The restart’s total cost is anticipated to be approximately $28 million of which Alcoa Corporation’s share is approximately $9 million. Restart expenses are expected to be incurred between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the third quarter of 2022.

Alcoa Corporation also recently announced the restart of its 268,000 mtpy of smelting capacity at the Alumar smelter in Brazil, which is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2022. When both projects are complete, Alcoa Corporation will have approximately 82% of its 2.99 million metric tons of global aluminum smelting capacity operating.

Portland Aluminium is an unincorporated joint venture included Alcoa of Australia Limited (55%), CITIC Nominees Pty Ltd (22.5%), and Marubeni Aluminium Australia Pty Ltd (22.5%). Alcoa of Australia Limited is owned by Alcoa Corporation (60%) and Alumina Limited (40%).



Australia burns a lot of fossil fuels. It seems to me they're in a position to rapidly change that with their inherent solar abundance.

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