Alcan recruiting after it moves to full production
UP TO 30 jobs are being created at the Alcan aluminium smelter in Lynemouth, Northumberland, as the company looks to return to full production for the first time in almost two years.
With a revival in global demand for aluminium, and prices having risen 70% from their floor in 2008, Alcan’s parent company Rio Tinto has decided to return to full capacity at the country’s biggest aluminium smelter, which is also the county’s biggest private employer.
The plant had cut production by a third in late 2008 as the world economy headed into recession and vehicle producers – one of the major end users of Lynemouth stock – cut output by 50%. But the price of the metal has now risen from around US $1,300 per tonnes at the end of 2008 to US $2,200 per tonnes this year.
The rise has been described as “stellar” following a surge in demand from the automotive and other consumer sectors.
Wyn Jones OBE, managing director of Rio Tinto Alcan’s UK operations, said: “We expect to be back to full production by the end of the year.
“We have begun re-starting all the pots which were closed down. This process takes a lot longer than closing them down and we expect to be operating at full capacity once more by the end of the year.
“This will be the first time in two years we have been operating at full capacity. We had to lay off staff when the production was cut but we have begun recruiting again."