Alcoa to restart 268,000 mt/year of aluminum smelting capacity in Brazil: company

Issued at 2021-09-23

Alcoa plans to restart 268,000 mt/year of aluminum capacity at the Alumar smelter in São Luís, Brazil, the company said Sept. 20.

The process to restart the idled capacity, which has been fully curtailed since 2015, will begin immediately, with the first molten metal expected in the second quarter of 2022, Alcoa said. The full 268,000 mt/year of capacity is expected to be operations in Q4 2022, it added.

By 2024 the Alumar smelter will be powered with 100% renewable energy, according to the company.

"Our restart decision is based on an analysis that shows the smelter can be competitive throughout all cycles, leveraging the co-located refinery, a strong workforce, and competitive, renewable power arrangements," Alcoa COO John Slaven said in a statement.

The smelter, jointly owned by a subsidiary of Alcoa and South32, has three potlines with a total operating capacity of 447,000 mt/year, including Alcoa's share of 268,000 mt. Alcoa Alumínio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcoa, owns 60% of the smelting and casting capacity, while South32 holds the remaining 40%.

The restart is expected to cost about $75 million, including about $10 million in capital expenses, Alcoa said.

With the planned restart, Alcoa said it will have approximately 80% of its 2.99 million mt/year of global aluminum smelting capacity operating.