QUEBEC – Montreal’s Rio Tinto Alcan said on Aug. 7 that it will immediately slash 50,000 tonnes of production at its Shawinigan smelter in the town of the same name. By the end of November the smelter will shut down, taking an additional 50,000 tonnes out of the market.
The decision was made as aluminum prices weaken. The Shawinigan smelter used dated technology, making the cost of production higher than other Alcan smelters.
Étienne Jacques, chief operating officer, Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal North America said, “Rio Tinto Alcan understands that the Shawinigan aluminium smelter is an important part of the Canada’s industrial history and we will work with our key stakeholders to ensure that we manage any impact caused by this curtailment has in the most sensitive and respectful way.”
The Shawinigan smelter was commissioned in 1942 and employs 425 people.
Rio Tinto Alcan operates seven other smelters in Canada. Please see RioTintoAlcan.com.