Alcoa Corporation, a global leader in bauxite, alumina, and aluminium products, announced that the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. (ABI) smelter plans to restart curtailed smelting capacity after members of the United Steelworkers union in Québec, Canada today approved a six-year labour agreement.

The smelter, owned by Alcoa (74.95%) and Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (25.05%), has total annual capacity of 413,000 metric tons per year. The restart will begin on July 26, 2019 and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2020. Salaried employees had operated one of three potlines during the lockout, until Alcoa announced an additional curtailment of one half of that potline on December 19, 2018.

“We are pleased that ABI has a new labour agreement that will get employees back on the job, working together to give the smelter a more competitive future,” said Tim Reyes, Executive Vice President and President, Aluminium.

“Now we can turn our focus to safely restarting the facility and improving the operations to secure the long-term future of ABI for the benefit of our employees, customers, stockholders, and surrounding communities,” Reyes said. “We thank our salaried workforce for the dedication and sacrifices they’ve made to keep this plant ready for the restart.”

The ABI smelter will recall the approximately 900 unionised employees according to a specific back-to-work protocol, with all of those on lockout back within eight months of the July 26, 2019 restart date.

In the second half of 2019, the company expects to record special items associated with restart expenses of between $40 million and $50 million (after-tax), or $0.22 and $0.27 per share.