Alcoa plans $75 million restart of Alumar smelter in Brazil

Alcoa Corp. announced that it plans to restart 268,000 metric tons per year of aluminum capacity at the Alumar smelter in São Luís, Brazil, which has been fully curtailed since 2015.

The process to restart the idle capacity will begin immediately at an anticipated cost of $75 million, including $10 million in capital expenses. The first molten metal is expected in the second quarter of 2022, while full capacity is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2022. Further, Alcoa said that the Alumar smelter will be powered with 100% renewable energy by 2024.

With this planned restart, Alcoa will have approximately 80% of its 2.99 million metric tons of global aluminum smelting capacity operating.

“Our restart decision is based on an analysis that shows the smelter can be competitive throughout all cycles, leveraging the co-located refinery, a strong workforce, and competitive, renewable power arrangements,” said John Slaven, Executive vice president and chief operating officer. 

“With this planned restart, we’ll be able to build upon the strong capabilities at this site and capture benefits for our investors, customers, employees and the stakeholders in the state of Maranhão in Brazil.”

The smelter is jointly owned by Alcoa subsidiary Alcoa Alumínio (60%) and South32 (40%) and has three potlines with a total operating capacity of 447,000 metric tons, which includes Alcoa’s share of 268,000 metric tons. 

Source: Alcoa