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Alunorte to ramp up within two months of Belém court approval, exec says

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019

   Norsk Hydro’s Alunorte alumina refinery, located in Brazil’s northern state of Pará, is expected to operate at 75-80% of its capacity two months after the receipt of approval from the Brazilian federal court in Belém, Norsk Hydro Brazil’s executive vice president of bauxite and alumina said.

  According to John Thuestad, this approval, which will be debated at an April 4 meeting between Hydro and the federal prosecutors' office (MPF), is the final “stumbling block” to boosting capacity at the refinery. “We have kept the plant operating all seven lines throughout this period to make sure we are ready to get its capacity up,” Thuestad said, speaking during an on-stage interview with Fastmarkets during its 25th bauxite and alumina conference in Miami on Tuesday March 26. “We foresee a two-month period [once we get the approval from the federal court in Belém]?to get the plant up to 75-80% capacity.” Alunorte has been operating at 50% of capacity since March 2018 after heavy rainfall in Barcarena, a city in the northern Brazilian state of Pará where the refinery is located, sparked an investigation into whether the company’s solid waste deposit No2 (DRS2) flooded or not.

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