Owners Rio Tinto and Hydro have come to the joint decision of starting a consultation process to permanently close Dutch anode producer Aluchemie, as the highly competitive market situation and significant reinvestment needs in the facility make continued operations unviable.

Aluchemie is a stand-alone anode producer located near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, with 220 employees and owned by global metals and mining company Rio Tinto Alcan (53%) and global aluminium and energy company Hydro (47%).

Aluchemie was opened in 1966 and has a total production capacity of more than 500,000 tonnes per year, but annual production has been reduced to 215,000 tonnes as four out of its seven anode baking furnaces have already been permanently closed.

The close-down process will include consultation processes with employee representatives and unions, as well as key external stakeholders such as environmental authorities and landowner regarding the site remediation process. The plant is currently expected to close toward the end of 2021 and follows a thorough strategic review to explore alternatives to closing Aluchemie.