Alcoa announced in late March 2014 that it is shutting down the remaining 74,000 mt/y of aluminum smelting capacity at its São Luís (Alumar) operations in Brazil. The curtailment adds to 85,000 mt/y of capacity idled at São Luís in May 2014 and 12,000 mt/y idled in October 2014. “Challenging global market conditions in primary aluminum production and increased costs have made the smelter uncompetitive,” the Alcoa announcement stated. The alumina refinery at São Luís is unaffected and will continue normal operations.
The São Luís curtailment is in line with an Alcoa announcement on March 6 that it is evaluating 500,000 mt/y of smelting capacity and 2.8 million mt/y of alumina refining capacity for possible curtailment, closure, or sale (E&MJ, April 2015, p. 6). Once production has stopped at the São Luís smelter, Alcoa will have approximately 740,000 mt/y, or 21%, of its worldwide smelting capacity offline.