Alcoa puts Wagerup expansion on hold

Backing the Wagerup suspension, Alcoa of Australia managing director Alan Cransberg said it was “necessary” in light of the current market challenges.“Alcoa of Australia is a strong and high performing business but, like many companies, we are facing unprecedented economic challenges that require us to reign in capital expenditure and reconsider the timing of our capital projects,” Cransberg said.“When market conditions improve we will revisit implementation of the project.”Before the Wagerup expansion could be revisited, Cransberg said Alcoa needed to establish a secure energy supply and reach an understanding of the government-backed emissions trading scheme.News of the suspension comes hot on the heels of significant production cut announcements from Alcoa.Earlier today the group announced plans to slash aluminium production from its aluminium smelting system by around 350,000 tonnes per annum. The curtailments follow on from other output reductions announced by Alcoa last month. Alcoa said the Wagerup decision was one of “a range of initiatives” taken by the company to address the global financial crisis. Alcoa World Alumina & Chemicals is a joint venture between Alumina (40%) and Alcoa (60%).

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