Aluminium Smelter May Close in 2009
The Anglesey Aluminium smelter outside Holyhead is likely to close if it cannot find a new electricity supplier, according to Bloomberg.
Still recovering from a recent fire which damaged potlines at the plant, Anglesey Aluminium has a contract with nearby Wylfa Nuclear Power Station until September 2009.
But the nuclear plant, owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), will start defueling and decommissioning in 2010, leaving the Holyhead smelter potentially with no electricity supply.
Dick Evans, CEO of Rio Tinto's aluminium division, believes the plant is likely to close if a new power supply cannot be secured.
Responsible for about 0.4% of world aluminium output, Anglesey Aluminium supplies markets in the UK and Europe.
It seems as if Rio and other mining companies are replacing aging plants in Europe with modern facilities where power sources are cheaper.
For example, in Iceland Alcoa has captured the power of hydroelectricity an environmentally friendly and cheaper source, for its new smelter, considered one of the most efficient in the world.
Meanwhile, at the Anglesey smelter one partially closed potline is being restarted, and an assessment is being carried out to establish the commercial viability of getting the second potline underway.
So the future of the smelter at Holyhead is now very much in the balance.
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