Century Aluminum to temporarily idle Hawesville smelter                                                    

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Century Aluminum in the United States plans to temporarily idle its 250,000-tpy Hawesville smelter in Kentucky.

The decision to stop production is a direct result of “skyrocketing energy costs,” says the company. The smelter is expected to begin the idling process on 27 June.

The company says it expects to idle operations for a period of 9-12 months until energy prices return to more normalized levels. The Hawesville facility is the largest smelter in the US and the largest producer of military-grade aluminium in North America. It currently employs more than 600 workers that will be temporarily laid off.

President and CEO Jesse Gary commented: “This unprecedented rise in global energy prices arising from the Russian war in Ukraine has dramatically increased the price of energy in the US and around the globe. The power cost required to run our Hawesville facility has more than tripled the historical average in a very short period. We are confident that energy prices will moderate in the next year and believe strongly in the future prospects of the Hawesville smelter given its recent performance and the continuing important role it plays in US national security.

Given the unique circumstances at each of Century’s plants, the company does not have any current plans to idle any other facility.

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