Alcoa threatens to shutter Spain complex amid mounting losses

18th January 2024 By: Bloomberg

Alcoa's CEO said mounting losses at the company’s Spain production complex leave few options other than to shutter the operation.

William Oplinger said in a call with analysts Wednesday the San Ciprian complex, which is running at 50% capacity for alumina production and has a fully curtailed aluminum smelter, is incurring substantial losses. He said it does not make economic sense for the company, the largest US aluminum producer, to follow through on a phased restart of the aluminum plant this year as it had previously agreed to.

“If the situation does not change significantly in the months ahead, we anticipate that available funding will be exhausted in the second-half of 2024” Oplinger said. “If that happens, we will have no choice but to make hard decisions that will adversely and potentially irrevocably impact employment and the economy.”

Oplinger said the company would need an agreement from the labor union to close the facility and that Alcoa is working with the government and employees to make the operation viable. The CEO said there is limited cash to run San Ciprian and eventually it will run out.