Alcoa to shut Australian smelter, mills

Sydney - Aluminum giant Alcoa has announced it will permanently close an Australian smelter and two rolling mills because they are not financially sustainable.

The New York City-based company said in a statement Tuesday a review of its 50-year-old Point Henry smelter at Geelong in Victoria state “has no prospect of becoming financially viable.”

Workers unload discarded aluminium from a truck at a metal recycling facility in Sydney, February 18, 2014. Aluminium producer Alcoa Inc said it will close its Point Henry smelter and two rolling mills in Australia, underscoring the dire market conditions facing producers amid a flood of new Chinese capacity. Credit: Reuters

Alcoa says the rolling mills in Geelong and in Yennora, in New South Wales state, which serve the Australian and Asian can sheet markets have been impacted by excess capacity.

Alcoa chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld said: “Despite the hard work of the local teams, these assets are no longer competitive and are not financially sustainable today or into the future.”

The smelter will close in August and the mills by the end of 2014. - Sapa-AP