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Court allows Norsk Hydro to resume normal production at Alunorte

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Court allows Norsk Hydro to resume normal production at Alunorte

Norsk Hydro ASA said May 20 that the Federal Court in Belem, Brazil, lifted the remaining production embargo under a criminal lawsuit on its Alunorte alumina refinery, allowing normal production to resume.

The decision comes after the same court recently lifted the production embargo under a civil case. Alunorte has been running at 50% capacity since March 2018 as ordered by authorities due to suspected leak at the site.

Norsk Hydro expects Alunorte to run at 75% to 85% capacity within two months. Production at the Paragominas bauxite mine will be increased in line with the ramp-up. The company is still considering doing the same at the Albras aluminum plant, a joint venture with Nippon Amazon Aluminium Co. Ltd.

Alunorte, said to be the world's largest alumina refinery outside China, has an annual capacity of 6.3 million tonnes that could be increased further with the addition of an additional press filter expected to be operational in the third quarter.

The embargos on the DRS2 bauxite residue disposal area remain in place, the company said.