Alcoa Will Permanently Close Potlines At Massena East Plant
Alcoa announced Wednesday it will permanently close the remaining two potlines at its Massena East smelter.
It's unclear at this point what this means in terms of layoffs as well as Alcoa's plans to modernize its plant.
An Alcoa spokesperson said the East plant currently employs 332 people; another 669 work at the West plant.
Meanwhile, Massena Town Supervisor Joseph Gray said he spoke with the East plant manager.
According to Gray, the plant manager said the modernization schedule is not changing with this announcement.
Gray said he was assured that Alcoa will minimize job loss.
"The company will do its part to either reassign those people to the other Alcoa facility in Massena or other Alcoa facilities in other areas," Gray said he was told.
In August 2013, Alcoa announced it would close one of the potlines at its Massena East plant.
That announcement came about a month after Alcoa officials broke ground phase one of the plan to modernize the plant. That plan was expected to cost $600 million and save about 1,000 jobs.
At the time, the ground breaking was widely portrayed as ensuring Alcoa's future in Massena.
Less widely noted, however, was the fact that the company only committed to the first part of the modernization project.
7 News reporter John Friot reported the company will make a "final" decision on the full $600 million project in 2015.
According to our archives from August 2013, Alcoa employs at total of 1,200 workers.
Last week, Alcoa announced it lost $2.34 billion in the fourth quarter, mostly because it wrote down the value of aluminum-smelting operations.
Saturday, February 28, 2015, Watertown, NY
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