Alcoa Converts San Ciprian Alumina Refinery to Natural Gas
The USD 25 million investment to convert the refinery to natural gas is consistent with Alcoa’s strategy to create a lower cost, globally competitive alumina business. The facility’s shift to natural gas was designed to reduce energy costs at the refinery by USD 20 per ton compared to historic levels, supporting the company’s goal to improve its position on the alumina cost curve to the 21st percentile by 2016. At Alcoa’s 2014 Investor Day, the company said that its position on the alumina cost curve had improved to the 25th percentile in 2014 from the 27th percentile in 2013. The refinery’s transition to natural gas also enables Alcoa to reduce the facility’s greenhouse gases, cutting CO2 by 30 % and eliminating SO2 emissions. The San Ciprian alumina refinery is part of the AWAC joint venture, owned 60 % by Alcoa and 40 % by Alumina Limited, with an annual capacity of 1,5 Mt. The facility supplies alumina to several of Alcoa’s European primary aluminum smelters as well as a wide variety of customers in the chemical, ceramics and construction materials markets.