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Another Alcoa plant closing and the machine auction listings

CPM2014

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Location
Austin,TX
Alcoa Alumina plant in south Texas closing with 650 jobs lost. Alcoa sites increased global competition and slumping economy for the decision. This plant has been operational for 70yrs. As much as I know it’s the right financial decision, I can’t help but be sad for another institution lost to globalization.

Article here Alcoa to permanently shut down Point Comfort refinery | Environment | victoriaadvocate.com

Machinery auction: Alcoa Point Comfort TX Closure Day 1 | Perfection Industrial
 

Finegrain

Diamond
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Location
Seattle, Washington
The article lays it out pretty well. It's not so much a globalization issue, just geography and logistics. We have virtually no bauxite deposits in the US. Why would we expect to have a sizable ore-based Al industry here? Vietnam, Guinea, Australia, that's where the big known bauxite deposits are. It's a long haul to move the ore across the Pacific (or Atlantic in the case of Guinea) to smelt it in the US.

Regards.

Mike
 

Milland

Diamond
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Location
Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Also a matter of local cost of electricity, given how much it takes to refine, cast. and roll aluminum.

OTOH, Al is a strategic metal, so if there's anyone left in the Defense Department who's not now a hack djt appointment, I hope they're paying attention.
 

boslab

Titanium
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Location
wales.uk
Sad, I worked at an Ali extruded and rolling mill, it’s wher I met the mrs, 1st job, 1st week, long time ago, the old works shell is still there, went to see it, sad when I remember all the noise, people and machinery, nothing quite as sad as a closed factory,
Mark
 

Limy Sami

Diamond
Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Location
Norfolk, UK
Sad, I worked at an Ali extruded and rolling mill, it’s wher I met the mrs, 1st job, 1st week, long time ago, the old works shell is still there, went to see it, sad when I remember all the noise, people and machinery, nothing quite as sad as a closed factory,
Mark

I know what you mean, the small country engine shop next door (4 1/2 employees) has closed and all the machinery etc sold, ......where there was once life, there is just an empty shell :(
 
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eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
So you have an inability to separate truth from lies? Wonderful, huge plant openings (lies) VS Covid-19 pandemic? (truth).

You deserve the tRump. Fortunately for the rest of US, WE chose Biden.

For crying out loud, enough with the politicking. And I'm not just singling you out. ALL of the politicians pander and lie these days. It's seemingly a GD job requirement these days. Some lie to your face. Some lie by omission. Regardless, let's leave it out of the machining discussion.
 

sealark37

Stainless
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Location
Davidson NC USA
The downsizing of Alcoa is the result of a 30+ year old agreement between the US and Russia that protected the domestic producers of aluminum from the Russian producers and the much lower prices they offered for ingots. Other Alcoa plants in the US have long since been closed. It makes more sense that the government forced shutdown of ALL lead (Pb) smelting in the US.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
Surprising to see middle eastern aluminum smelters with big capacity. those governments were thinking. rather then sell the oil wholesale they use the oil to make electricity cheap and use the power to melt aluminum and create local jobs. When the oil is gone they will have factories and other infrastructure to hopefully still make things and hire locals. Or maybe just cover the desert in solar panels by then.
I belive all the bauxite is shipped in. I am not aware of any mining in the middle east?
Bil lD
 

boslab

Titanium
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Location
wales.uk
One thing I discovered about Ali smelters and melters, everything rusts really fast, the flux in the furnaces seems to be very corrosive, brand new machines looked like they’d been left out in a field.
Mark
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
Yeah...I could do without the comments from our scrotal members who live in the spec of state that's all but useless unless you are a LGBTQ couple looking for a bed and breakfast.

I've been in that plant...and I understand that they closed for the simple fact that they could not stay competitive as modern aluminum plants are built on top of the bauxite mines. No shipping. So, they ran as long as they could until the pending need for capital outlay came calling. In other words, as long as they could not spend any money on the place, it was OK.

But, the most interesting thing by far to those of us who like machinery is the fascinating story of the Nordberg radial engines they used. The Port Lavaca plant was the single biggest user, and I find it very interesting that they would run these until the crankshafts broke...as it was just as costly to go into the engine ahead of time.

I had two friends who left my company to go to Nordberg in Milwaukee in the 90's...I lost track of them and even if Nordberg is still open.

Nordberg Radial Stationary Engine | Old Machine Press
 








 
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