Glencore to Purchase Vanalco's Aluminium Smelter

Swiss based Glencore International has agreed to buy the bankrupt Vanalco aluminium smelter in Vancouver for US$24.25 million, although no plans have been announced for the plant as yet. However, it has been speculated that the plant will start production some time in the not too distant future.

The deal needs to be approved by the bankruptcy court, with a hearing set for April 11. If all goes well, Glencore aim to complete the sale soon afterwards.

The Vanalco plant was the first of the 10 Northwest smelters to shut down after power prices sky rocketed. Several of the others followed, with the remainder being severely affected by the price hikes. The plant was closed in June 2000 after it was no longer viable to continue producing aluminium. A chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was filed in early 2001.

Although high power prices and low aluminium prices do not favour the re-opening of the plant in the near future, Glencore have re-started operations in Montana, at the plant they purchased from Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. in May of 1999. They are currently ramping up production at this plant.

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