A spokesman for Alcoa confirmed to the media on April 26 that Alcoa had lifted force majeure on its Western Australian alumina operations.
Prior to Alcoa's confirmation, several market sources had said they had received notice of the lifting of force majeure as early as April 21. Two sources familiar with Alcoa's global alumina operations also confirmed separately that force majeure had been lifted.
Alcoa notified its alumina customers in January of force majeure caused by reduced gas supplies at its Western Australian operations, which reduced production at the Kwinana alumina refinery by about 30 per cent.
According to production and capacity information released by Alcoa in its 2023 quarterly results, as of March 31, approximately 20% of alumina refining capacity at the Kwinana plant, or approximately 438,000 metric tons per year of capacity, remained reduced, but primarily due to bauxite grade issues.
The Kwinana refinery is jointly owned by Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals and Australian investor Alumina Limited, with Alcoa having a 60% interest in the joint venture, Australian investor Alumina Limited has a 40 per cent interest.
The Kwinana Alumina Refinery has a nameplate capacity of nearly 2.2 million Tpa, of which 85% is smelt-grade alumina and the remainder is non-metallurgical alumina.