Alcoa Corporation has reportedly announced that the joint venture of Portland Aluminium has planned to restart 35,000 mtpy (metric tons per year) of curtailed aluminum smelting capacity in the State of Victoria, Australia. The capacity has been non-functional since 2009 and its restart process will commence immediately with production of metal expected to start in Q3 of 2022.
Portland Aluminium is a joint venture with a total capacity of 358,000 mtpy and Alcoa Corp has around 197,000 mtpy of combined capacity.
Once the capacity restarts, Portland Aluminium will function at around 95% of the total capacity whereas Alcoa Corp. will have close to 186,000 mtpy of its combined capacity at the Portland operating.
Michael Gollschewski, the President of Alcoa Australia and Vice President of Operations stated that restarting the non-functioning capacity enhances the cost structure, long-term sustainability, and competitiveness of the smelter. He added that the joint venture has been receiving the support of the local community and with this project, the company will be able to create an optimistic social impact via local expenditure and additional employment.
The project is touted to create around 30 permanent jobs at the smelter and around 50 temporary construction jobs. Currently, the smelter has over 680 workers which include both direct employees as well as contractors.
Alcoa will sign a four-year agreement with AGL for obtaining the energy required to operate the capacity. This will add to the previous five-year energy agreements with Origin, AGL, and Alinta Energy that started on August 1, 2021.
The total cost of the restart is expected to be around USD 28 million, of which Alcoa Corp’s share is USD 9 million. The expenses related to the restart are anticipated to be incurred between Q4 of 2021 and Q3 of 2022.
Recently, Alcoa also announced the restart of its smelting capacity of 268,000 mtpy at its Alumar smelter situated in Brazil.