Boliden’s Rönnskär copper plant has partially resumed production following a devastating fire on June 13, which resulted in the complete destruction of the electrolytic refinery. While some production lines are now operational, the plant is operating under modified conditions, with copper production taking place in the form of anodes instead of cathodes. This adjustment to the commercial business model may require certain production lines to operate at limited capacity.
The first copper anode was casted on Saturday, June 24, marking a significant step in the plant’s recovery process. It is anticipated that all production lines, except for the electrolytic refinery, will be fully operational by July. However, the transformation of customer relationships from copper cathode customers to copper anode customers is an ongoing process, and the commercial conditions may not allow for all undamaged production lines to operate at full capacity.
Due to the fire’s impact on the plant, Boliden has initiated redundancy consultations concerning 190 positions at Rönnskär. The consultations will extend beyond the positions at the electrolytic refinery, considering the potential closure or limited capacity operation of other production lines. Negotiations with unions will commence as part of this process.
The fire’s aftermath has led to a write-down of SEK 88 million in the book value of the electrolytic refinery. Additionally, SEK 75 million has been reserved for costs associated with the demolition, cleaning, and restoration work in the fire-damaged area. As previously communicated, the second-quarter EBIT is expected to be impacted by approximately SEK -200 million due to lost production and cancelled outbound deliveries.
Boliden will provide further financial details when it publishes its second-quarter 2023 report on July 20.
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