New Power Agreement Keeps Alcoa’s Intalco Smelter Open

Alcoa announced in early May a new agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) that will improve the competitiveness of Alcoa’s Intalco primary aluminum smelter in Ferndale, Washington, and allow the plant to remain open. The amendment to the power contract is effective July 1 through February 14, 2018, and provides for additional access to market power during this period.

“This short-term amendment with BPA, combined with the state of Washington’s $3 million budget proviso for workforce training, are key factors in helping Intalco remain competitive,” the Alcoa announcement said.

The Intalco smelter has capacity to produce 279,000 mt/y of primary aluminum. Alcoa had planned to shut down production at the smelter at the end of the second quarter.

Alcoa initially announced plans on November 2, 2015, to shut down Intalco, its Wenatchee smelter in Washington state, and its Massena West smelter in New York state, the company’s three remaining active smelters in the United States. However, a state incentive agreement announced later in November allowed the Massena West smelter to remain in production, and now the Intalco smelter is also scheduled to remain open. The Wenatchee smelter was shut down in early January.

The Massena West smelter has a nameplate capacity of 130,000 mt/y. The Wenatchee smelter had a nameplate capacity of 184,000 mt/y.

As featured in Womp 2016 Vol 06 -