Gradual Shutdown of Alumina Production
Alcoa has announced its plan to fully cease production at its Kwinana alumina refinery in Western Australia by 2024. The refinery, which currently operates at 80% capacity, will begin winding down production in the second quarter and aims to complete the process by the third quarter of 2024.
Factors Influencing the Closure
The decision to halt production at the Kwinana plant, which boasts a capacity of around 2.2 million tons, is attributed to several factors. The refinery’s considerable age of 60 years, its operational scale, high operating costs, and the low quality of bauxite were key considerations in Alcoa’s decision.
Impact on Workforce
The shutdown will have a significant impact on the workforce at the Kwinana plant. Employee numbers, which currently stand at around 800, are expected to drop to approximately 250 by the third quarter of 2024, coinciding with the cessation of all alumina production. Further reductions will occur into 2025, leaving about 50 employees as the plant concludes certain ongoing processes.