Alcoa Corp., a leader in bauxite, alumina, and aluminum products, announced the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. (ABI) smelter plans to restart curtailed smelting capacity after members of the United Steelworkers union in Québec, Canada, approved a six-year labor agreement.

The smelter, owned by Alcoa (74.95%) and Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (25.05%), has total annual capacity of 413,000 metric tons per year (mt/y). The restart began on July 26 and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2020. Salaried employees had operated one of three potlines during the lockout, until Alcoa announced an additional curtailment of one-half of that potline during December.

“We are pleased that ABI has a new labor agreement that will get employees back on the job, working together to give the smelter a more competitive future,” said Executive Vice President and President of Aluminum Tim Reyes. “Now we can turn our focus to safely restarting the facility and improving the operations to secure the long-term future of ABI.”

The ABI smelter will recall the approximately 900 unionized employees according to a specific back-to-work protocol, with all of those on lockout back within eight months of the July 26 restart date.