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Hydropower Supply Approved for Alcoa's Wenatchee Smelter

Alcoa has announced that the commissioners in Public Utility District Number One of Chelan County (PUD) approved a 17-year power agreement that is the linchpin to assuring the long-term survival - and an increase in production - at the Alcoa Wenatchee Smelter in Wenatchee, Washington, USA.

The smelter is a major contributor to the economy and sustainability of the Wenatchee Valley.

Under terms of the agreement - which will take effect on November 1, 2011, when the current contract expires, and continue through October 2028 - Alcoa will receive approximately 25 percent of the renewable, hydropower output of the Rocky Reach and Rock Island dams.

“Not only will Alcoa continue to be an important part of the Wenatchee Valley community, as we have been for 55 years, but we’ll also grow our operations thanks to this agreement,” said Stefan Vogt, plant manager at Alcoa Wenatchee Works. “In the future, we will be able to expand production by adding a third potline and approximately 60 jobs.” This will increase production at the smelter by 42,000 metric tons per year (mtpy) and bring total production to approximately 142,000 mtpy and employment to approximately 450.

“By approving this long-term power agreement, the Chelan County PUD Commissioners have voted for the future of the Wenatchee Valley. We are deeply appreciative of their support and excited at the prospect of maintaining the Wenatchee Works smelter as a reliable, cost effective and a safe place to work—and contributing to the viability of the Wenatchee community—for many years to come,” said Vogt.

Chelan PUD and Alcoa will use the approved terms to draft the final contracts, which won't take effect until approved and ratified by both organizations.

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