Alcoa announced on September 14 that it is shutting down the remaining 887,000 mt/y of alumina refining capacity at the Suralco bauxite mining and refining operations in Suriname. The refinery is scheduled to be idled by November 30.
Suralco is part of the Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals group of companies owned 60% by Alcoa Inc. and 40% by Alumina Ltd. Suralco’s total alumina refining capacity is 2.2 million mt/y.
In October 2014, the government of Suriname and Alcoa signed a memorandum of understanding reflecting both parties’ intent to find a solution for the future of Suralco, which has limited bauxite reserves and lacks a long-term energy solution.
“Suralco’s ongoing energy challenges and limited bauxite supply, combined with unfavorable market conditions, mean it is no longer possible to continue operations,” said Bob Wilt, president Alcoa Global Primary Products.
Alcoa’s production cuts have accompanied a general down trend in aluminum prices.