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Brazilian court lifts one of two restrictions on Norsk Hydro plant

Author : Pankaj Singh | Published Date : 2019-05-18 

The federal court in Belem, Brazil has reportedly lifted one of two production restrictions on a key plant owned by Norsk Hydro, the Norwegian metal manufacturer said in a statement.

As per trusted sources, the Alunorte alumina refinery, which is a main supplier to the aluminum industry, presently functions at half its capacity as a result of a spill in February 2018 which prompted regulators and courts to limit output.

According to Norsk Hydro, the court has lifted the production restraint on Alunorte under the civil lawsuit. But, the aluminum refinery is still affected by a production embargo executed by the same court in a parallel criminal lawsuit, told Norsk Hydro.

Moreover, Alunorte is anticipating an extension of the civil verdict to the criminal case shortly, however, it will continue operating at 50% capacity up until the production restriction under the criminal case is lifted, the company added.

The latest development indicates that the final output restraint could be lifted in a few days, stated credible sources.

Norsk Hydro’s Chief Executive had said in a statement that a restart of Alunorte would enable Hydro to boost production at its Albras aluminum smelter, and instantly spike profits, which had dropped significantly during the outage.

Last month, a technical evaluation by a third-party consultancy supported the conclusion that the manufacturing plant was safe, persuading Hydro and the prosecutor to propose that the court should lift its embargo, claimed sources.

For the record, the plant is the world’s largest, converting bauxite from mines in Brazil to alumina, the material used to manufacture aluminum at smelters held by Hydro and others around the world.

Since the unlicensed release at the time of severe rains in February 2018, Hydro has updated Alunorte’s facilities in a bid to convince authorities to let it recommence full output, reported sources.

Besides the output restriction, Hydro is still in anticipation of a federal court ruling on whether it will be permitted to use the DRS2 site, its new bauxite residue disposal area, reported sources.

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About Author

Pankaj Singh

Pankaj Singh

Endowed with a post graduate degree in management and finance, Pankaj Singh has been a part of the online content domain for quite a while. Having worked previously as a U.K. insurance underwriter for two years, he now writes articles for fractovia.org and other online portals. He can be contacted at- [email protected] | https://twitter.com/PankajSingh2605

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