Alcoa to Close Point Henry Aluminum Smelter and Rolling Mills in Australia
The smelter and an adjacent rolling mill are located in Geelong, Victoria. The second mill and a recycling facility are located in Yennora, New South Wales. The smelter will close in August and the rolling mills by the end of 2014.The Point Henry smelter was placed under strategic review in February 2012 due to challenging market conditions. A comprehensive review found that the 50-year-old smelter has no prospect of becoming financially viable. The two rolling mills serve the domestic and Asian can sheet markets which have been impacted by excess capacity. Alcoa of Australia operates the smelter where approximately 500 employees work. Alcoa Inc. operates the rolling mills which employ about 480 people. The Anglesea coal mine and power station that currently supplies approximately 40 % of the power needs for the Point Henry smelter has the potential to operate as a stand-alone facility after the smelter closes. Alcoa of Australia will actively seek a buyer for the facility. The Portland aluminum smelter in Victoria will continue normal operations, as will Alcoa of Australia’s bauxite mining and alumina refining operations in Western Australia. The closures will reduce Alcoa’s global smelting capacity by 190000 t and reduce Alcoa’s can sheet capacity by 200000 t. Including the closure of the Point Henry smelter, Alcoa has announced closures or curtailments representing 551000 t of smelting capacity, exceeding the 460000 t placed under review in May 2013. Once the Point Henry closure is complete, Alcoa will have total smelting operating capacity of approximately 3,760 Mt, with approximately 655000 t, or 17 %, of high cost capacity offline. Alcoa of Australia Limited is 60 % owned by Alcoa Inc. and 40 % owned by Alumina Limited. Alcoa of Australia owns and operates two bauxite mines and three alumina refineries in Western Australia, and two aluminum smelters (holding a 55 % in the Portland Aluminum smelter), a coal mine and a power station in Victoria. Alcoa of Australia employs approximately 5200 people through its mining, refining and smelting operations in Australia.