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Alcoa warns of "difficult decisions" regarding the San Ciprián plant with effects on employment

The American multinational lost 599 million in 2023.

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Alcoa warns of "difficult decisions" regarding the San Ciprián plant with effects on employment

The American multinational lost 599 million in 2023

MADRID, 18 Ene. (EUROPA PRESS) -

Alcoa, the largest American aluminum producer, has warned that the resources with which it has been financing its Spanish plant in San Ciprián "are close to their limits", while market conditions, including the cost of energy, do not support an economically viable restart, so it will have to make "difficult decisions" with adverse impact on employment if there are no substantial changes.

The Pittsburgh multinational, which in 2023 lost 651 million dollars (599 million euros), more than five times more than the adverse result of 123 million dollars (113 million euros) in 2022, has defended in the presentation of its accounts that, since the smelter was closed in January 2022, it has met its commitments under the feasibility agreements signed in December 2021 and February 2023, including paying all employees, making capital investments and preparing for the restart.

"However, current market conditions, including the cost of energy, do not support an economically viable restart," he noted, adding that permits and development of renewable energy projects, which were a critical component of the reset.

In this way, he recalled that the refinery and smelter incurred significant losses in 2023 and in previous years that have been financed with internal credit lines "that are now close to their limits and that the operations do not have the capacity to pay."

In this sense, the president and CEO of Alcoa, William Oplinger, has pointed out that, although operations continue to be restricted to 50% in the refinery and are totally restricted in the smelter, the losses in Ebitda in 2023 exceeded 150 million dollars (138 million euros) throughout the San Ciprián complex.

"Despite our collective efforts, we have clearly not achieved our goal of achieving the economic viability of San Ciprián," he acknowledged.

Thus, last December the company began collaborating with the national and regional authorities of Spain, as well as the works council, to discuss the ongoing financial losses at the San Ciprián refinery and smelter.

"We are considering all forms of assistance as we work collaboratively on a long-term solution for the complex," said Oplinger, who, looking forward to 2024, expects San Ciprián to incur substantial losses, even with recent improvements in energy markets and the price of aluminum.

"If the situation does not change significantly in the coming months, we anticipate that the available funds will be exhausted in the second half of 2024," he assured, warning that, "if that happens, we will have no choice but to make difficult decisions that will have a adverse and potentially irrevocable impact on employment and the economy of Galicia in general."

"No one wants that. But in the absence of significant change, that is exactly what will happen," he noted, adding that the company intends to continue honoring the spirit of the commitments made in the viability agreement, although he has stressed that it will need flexibility of unions and significant support from regional and national governments.

The American multinational has reported that its results for the whole of 2023 showed net attributed losses of 651 million dollars (599 million euros), compared to the 'red numbers' of 123 million dollars (113 million euros) for the year. former.

For its part, in the fourth quarter of the year Alcoa recorded losses of 150 million dollars (138 million euros), 62% below the negative result of 395 million dollars (363 million euros) in the same period of 2022.

Likewise, the company's sales figure in 2023 reached 10,551 million dollars (9,705 million euros), 15.2% less than a year before, including a drop in the fourth quarter of 2.5%, to 2,595 million dollars (2,387 million euros).

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