The Bellingham Business Journal
Alcoa Intalco Works, a producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, plans to increase production at its Ferndale facility in the first quarter of 2011.
This restarts capacity idled during the economic downturn of 2008 and will increase production by 40,000 metric tons per year and add 60 jobs at Intalco. Once idled capacity has been reactivated, Intalco will have 20 percent idle capacity remaining.
“We are delighted to add 60 family wage jobs for the benefit of our long term viability and the positive economic impact on our local communities,” Barry Hullett, Intalco plant manager, said in a press release. “We are also appreciative of the support from key elected officials who have aided the plant to restart idled capacity.”
Gov. Christine Gregoire, senators Patty Murray, and Maria Cantwell, Rep. Rick Larsen, and numerous state, county and local officials were supportive in ensuring that Intalco remains an economic force in the region, Hullett said.
Alcoa will also increase production at its Wenatchee, Wash., and Massena, N.Y., aluminum smelters. Overall, increased capacity at the three facilities is expected to create approximately 260 new jobs, and increase Alcoa’s aluminum production by 137,000 metric tons over the course of 2011 and by 200,000 metric tons on an annual basis thereafter.
Alcoa is restarting idled capacity to meet anticipated growth in aluminum demand and to meet obligations outlined in power agreements with energy providers.
Intalco is currently operating under a 17-month contract with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) that provides 320 megawatts of power at the industrial power rate while negotiations on a long-term contract with BPA continue. Alcoa has said its contract with BPA has helped the company continue operating and saved about 500 jobs.
“Current estimates indicate there will be an excess amount of power available in the region this spring,” Hullett said.