Alcoa Corp. will immediately begin to curtail half of the one operating potline at the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. (ABI) smelter in Québec, Canada. The Bécancour aluminum smelter, owned by Alcoa (74.95%) and Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (25.05%), has nameplate capacity of 413,000 metric tons per year (mt/y), across its three potlines. Two of the facility’s potlines were curtailed on January 11, 2018, after union members rejected a proposed labor agreement for hourly employees.

Since the lockout, ABI’s salaried employees have operated the one potline, performed maintenance, restored stability and improved metal quality. The additional curtailment, however, is necessary to ensure continued safety and maintenance in light of recent retirements and departures, the company said. The salaried employees who remain will continue to ensure the smelter can be ready for a potential restart.

The one operating line has a nameplate capacity of 138,000 mt/y, of which 103,000 mt represent Alcoa’s ownership interest. This partial curtailment is expected to be complete by December 21.

After extensive negotiations this year, ABI and the union have yet to reach an agreement on key terms to improve productivity and profitability. ABI’s management remains committed to reaching a negotiated agreement.