Production at Hydro’s Paragominas bauxite mine will be increased in line with the ramp-up speed at Alunorte. A decision to also increase production at Hydro’s part-owned Albras primary aluminium plant is expected shortly.
“I am pleased and encouraged to see the great efforts by our people at Alunorte, Albras and Paragominas, in cooperation with local communities and authorities. Resuming production at Alunorte is an important step towards normal production at our strategically important operations in Para and a foundation for our agenda to strengthen the robustness and profitability across the value chain,” says President and CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim.
The decision by the federal court to lift the production embargo under the criminal lawsuit came after a decision on Wednesday, May 15, to lift the production embargo under the civil lawsuit.
“This decision is very important to our employees, local communities, contractors and customers. It is the final confirmation that Alunorte can operate safely and means we will restart the full aluminium value chain, which is positive both for us and the state of Pará. We will focus on ramping up in a safe manner, following several months of disrupted operations, as well as continue working to also lift the embargos on the new, state-of-art bauxite residue deposit area,” says John Thuestad, Executive Vice President of the Bauxite & Alumina business area.
Alunorte, with an annual production capacity of 6.3 million tonnes, is expected to reach 75-85% percent utilization within two months. An additional press filter is expected to be operational in Q3 2019, further increasing the capacity.
As the federal court’s embargo preventing Alunorte from using its new DRS2 bauxite residue deposit area remains in force, Alunorte continues to utilize the DRS1 depository based on state-of-the-art press filter technology.