Rio Tinto Alcan intends to close the Lynemouth aluminum smelter, subject to the completion of a 90-day consultation process with employee and union representatives. The company is also in exclusive discussions regarding the potential sale of the power station at the site. The Lynemouth smelter in Northumberland, England opened in 1972. “The smelter is no longer a sustainable business because its energy costs are increasing significantly, due largely to emerging legislation,” said Jacynthe Côté, chief executive of Rio Tinto Alcan. “We are hopeful that the power station can remain in operation under new ownership.”
The smelter employs 515 people and an additional 111 are employed at the power station. All affected employees will receive support, including re-training and job-search assistance, in order to mitigate the impact of any closure.