Alcoa will suspend Suralco’s remaining 887,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of alumina refining capacity as discussions continue with the government of Suriname on preserving the country’s bauxite and refining industry. The refinery is scheduled to be idled by November 30. The curtailment and ongoing discussions are aligned with Alcoa’s strategy to create a globally competitive commodity business.

Discussions between Alcoa and the government of Suriname began in October 2014 to reach a joint solution for Suralco. “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 of Alcoa Global Primary Products.

This news follows Alcoa’s March announcement to evaluate 2.8 million mt of refining capacity for possible curtailment or divestiture. Alcoa’s review of its refining operations is consistent with the company’s 2016 goal of lowering its position on the world alumina cost curve to the 21st percentile.