Alcoa today announced it has reached agreement with the Chelan PUD on a new, clean-energy hydropower contract to supply its Wenatchee, Washington aluminum smelter through 2028. The new contract, which begins in 2011, will provide enough energy to enable the start-up of a third potline at the smelter in 2012.
In announcing the new power agreement, John Thuestad, President of Alcoa’s US Primary Products said, “This is an excellent example of a community working together with industry to help secure the future for family wage jobs in Wenatchee. In addition to the more than 400 jobs in Wenatchee today, this new agreement provides incremental power for increased production of 42,000 metric tons annually, bringing another 60-80 new jobs to the region.
“This agreement makes this facility more competitive and is an excellent outcome for everyone,” said Thuestad. “Long-term, reliable and globally-competitive power is essential, and the Chelan PUD, through long and arduous negotiations, has taken the steps to help this community and region for the next 20 years.”
The new 17-year agreement begins when the existing contract expires in 2011. The Wenatchee smelter has a nameplate capacity of 184,000 metric tons and is currently operating at approximately 100,000 mtpy. Current plans call for it to reach 142,000 mtpy when the new contract begins in 2012.
The agreement is another in a series of new, globally-competitive power agreements by Alcoa for its worldwide smelting operations. Including new agreements in Quebec, Alcoa now has approximately 75 percent of its smelting production under long-term, competitive power supply. Approximately 25 percent of the Company’s smelting production is supplied through self-generated power.
“With the completion of the Wenatchee agreement we can now turn our attention to successfully negotiate a long-term agreement with our other public energy supplier in Washington—the Bonneville Power Administration—to secure the 650 family wage jobs in the Ferndale community,” added Thuestad.