Rio Tinto to sell French aluminium smelter


Wednesday, 17 January, 2018


Aluminium dunkerque

Rio Tinto has received a binding offer from Liberty House to acquire Rio Tinto’s Aluminium Dunkerque smelter in northern France for $500 million, subject to final adjustments. In accordance with French law, Rio Tinto will launch a consultation process with employees, relevant European works councils and other stakeholders in relation to the bid. Subject to satisfactory completion of these consultations, Rio Tinto expects to complete the sale of Aluminium Dunkerque in the second quarter of 2018.

The proposal received from Liberty House, which acquired Rio Tinto’s Lochaber Smelter and assets in Scotland in December 2016, includes plans for the modernisation of the site.

Rio Tinto Aluminium Chief Executive Alf Barrios said: “The binding offer for the sale of Aluminium Dunkerque represents the best option for the future development of the site while also delivering value for Rio Tinto as we continue to streamline our portfolio.

“Liberty House has a track record of investing in similar assets, which should secure a long-term sustainable future for Aluminium Dunkerque and continued economic benefit for the wider community,” he said.

The smelter came online in 1991 and is currently Europe’s number one producer of aluminium. The smelter has a capacity of 270,000 tonnes of aluminium per year and is powered by nuclear energy supplied by EDF.

Image source: www.aluminiumdunkerque.fr

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