Second-Largest U.S. Aluminum Mill Idles Due to 'Untenable' Energy Prices, Laying Off 600 American Workers
Aug 10, 2022 1 min, 7 secs
The second largest aluminum mill in the United States has idled operations, laying off about 600 American workers, due to “untenable” electricity and energy prices.

executives announced that they would idle the Hawesville, Kentucky aluminum mill for about 9 to 12 months as a result of skyrocketing prices to merely keep the plant’s lights on.

Similarly, executives with two steel mills are suspending operations because they cannot afford the costs of energy to keep the plants open.

At least two steel mills have begun suspending some operations to cut energy costs, according to one industry executive, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

In May, a group of factories across the US Midwest warned federal energy regulators that some were on the verge of closing for the summer or longer because of what they described as “unjust and unreasonable” electricity costs.

CEO Jesse Gary said the temporary closure of Hawesville — which resulted in the layoffs of about 600 American workers — was a result of “untenable” energy prices.

“Elevated energy prices also resulted in an unfortunate decision to curtail our Hawesville operations,” Gary said:.

While this decision was difficult, it was necessary given relatively high energy consumption of the Hawesville smelting technology and lack of value-added casthouses, which made the financial economics of continuing to run the smelter untenable at these energy prices.

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