Alcoa strikes power accord to keep Intalco smelter open

3rd May 2016 By: Henry Lazenby - Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America

TORONTO ( – US specialty alloys producer Alcoa has struck an agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) that would help improve the competitiveness of its 279 000 t/y Intalco smelter, in Washington state.

As a result, the smelter will not close at the end of June, as previously planned by the company.

Alcoa advised Monday that the amendment to the power contract was effective from July 1 to February 14, 2018, and provided Alcoa with more access to market power.

According to the company, this short-term amendment with BPA, combined with state funding of $3-million for workforce training, were among key factors that would help keep Intalco competitive.

Alcoa, which expected to separate its main upstream and beneficiating downstream business units later this year, had so far this year shuttered its 269 000 t/y Warrick smelter at the end of March, bringing US aluminium output to its lowest in more than 65 years as an expected zinc supply gap failed to materialise and industry struggled with low metals prices.