Aluminium pioneer Alcoa Corporation announced last week that laborers at its San Ciprián aluminium plant in Spain have agreed to a plan that will have the complex returning to production in 2023.
The plan lays out the production restart process that will begin next January. In addition to providing for a return to operations, the plan also includes provisions for capital expenditures at the site and protection for the workforce there.
Initially the plan included US$103 million in capex, but negotiations led to an agreement with US$181 million in investments at the site. Among the investments at the site are US$146 million for a new anode plant and US$35 million in expenses for restarting the plant from its current idled state.
The labor force gained new protections in the deal, including a guarantee not to begin dismissal processes before the end of 2026 in exchange for a promise not to disrupt production during that time.
Alcoa President and CEO Roy Harvey said in a press release that the agreement would help return the plant to a commercially viable operation.
“With this latest agreement, we have additional flexibility and a clear direction for the future as we continue to work constructively with our workforce and other stakeholders to begin the restart process in 2024, supported by wind-based power agreements and increased investments designed to improve the smelter’s viability. We will continue to work cooperatively with the regional and national governments in Spain as we move forward with these plans.”
Alcoa says the plant will see all pots online by October 2025, with a minimum production of 75 percent of its nameplate capacity of 228 thousand metric tons per annum from then through the end of 2026.