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Alcoa, Alumina JV's Point Comfort refinery in Texas to permanently shut down

Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals, a 60/40 joint venture between Alcoa Corp. and Alumina Ltd., will permanently shut down its Point Comfort alumina refinery in Texas to eliminate unprofitable capacity, the two companies said in separate statements on Dec. 17.

The refinery's annual alumina capacity of about 2.3 million tonnes has been curtailed since June 2016.

Alcoa said that it will record restructuring charges of about US$175 million, or 94 U.S. cents per share, related to the permanent closure.

The closure is expected to result in annual net income improvement of about US$15 million and cash savings of about US$10 million starting 2020, as compared to the ongoing expenditure for curtailment, exclusive of closure costs, for Alcoa.

Alumina, meanwhile, said that its equity share of the charges would be A$104 million.

Point Comfort's current employment of approximately 45 will be trimmed as part of the closure, with any remaining personnel managing the demolition, decommissioning and remediation activities to prepare the location for potential redevelopment opportunities, according to Alcoa.