Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced it has completed its exchange of stakes with ORKLA ASA for its Elkem Norwegian smelting partnership, which includes aluminum smelters in Lista and Mosjoen, as well as one of the world's most modern anode plants, also in Mosjoen. Orkla, in turn, received Alcoa’s 45 percent share of the SAPA soft-alloy extrusion profile joint venture.
The two smelters and anode facility – Mosjoen, located in Northern Norway, and Lista, on the southern tip of the country - provide a combined primary production output of 282,000 metric tons per year. The addition of these assets increases Alcoa’s global smelting capacity to more than 4.8 million metric tons, making Alcoa the world’s largest primary aluminum producer. Approximately 700 workers are employed in three facilities at the two locations which form a new organization called Alcoa Norway ANS.
“Building on a positive 90-year relationship between Alcoa and Orkla and the personal experience in Norway of Alcoa's international executive team, we were able to complete this exchange in record time. This cashless transaction gives our two companies the opportunity to focus on our respective areas of expertise,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, President and CEO of Alcoa, Inc. “The addition of two smelters with long-term clean power contracts and an anode business that plays a vital role in supporting our operations in Norway and Iceland strengthens Alcoa's leadership position within the aluminum industry.”
The two parties will continue to develop and hold joint ownership in the carbothermic process technology Alcoa is developing together with Orkla. Currently in the research and development phase, the carbothermic process is a new technology that holds the potential to produce aluminum at a lower cost, driven by reduced conversion costs, lower energy requirements, and lower emissions and at a lower capital cost than traditional smelting. The technology also holds potential for significant cost improvements in the production of other metals.
Posted April 1st. 2009