Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation (NYSE: NOR) today provided an update on operations at its alumina refinery in Gramercy, Louisiana, following Hurricane Isaac, which passed through the area on August 29, 2012.
“We are pleased to report that all employees have been accounted for and there were no significant injuries,” said Layle K. “Kip” Smith, Noranda’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud of our Gramercy team’s efforts to restore power and to return the facility to operation so we can meet the alumina needs of our customers and our aluminum smelter in New Madrid.”
In advance of Hurricane Isaac, consistent with established protocols for such events, plant personnel took actions to reduce the refinery’s operating level. During the storm, the refinery’s power generation operations were disrupted, bringing operations at the refinery to a complete stop. On Friday, August 31, a damage assessment of the physical plant was completed and power was restored, allowing employees to safely begin the activities necessary restart the facility’s production processes. As of Thursday, September 6, the refinery was operating at approximately 75% of normal flow rates. Noranda expects the refinery to return to full production during the second half of September.
Noranda is working cooperatively with its alumina customers to serve their needs. Noranda does not expect the outage to disrupt production at its aluminum smelter in New Madrid, Missouri.Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements about future, not past, events and involve certain important risks and uncertainties, any of which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: the cyclical nature of the aluminum industry and fluctuating commodity prices, which cause variability in earnings and cash flows; a downturn in general economic conditions, including changes in interest rates, as well as a downturn in the end-use markets for certain of the Company’s products; fluctuations in the relative cost of certain raw materials and energy compared to the price of primary aluminum and aluminum rolled products; the effects of competition in Noranda’s business lines; Noranda’s ability to retain customers, a substantial number of which do not have long-term contractual arrangements with the Company; the ability to fulfill the business’s substantial capital investment needs; labor relations (i.e. disruptions, strikes or work stoppages) and labor costs; unexpected issues arising in connection with Noranda’s operations outside of the United States; the ability to retain key management personnel; and Noranda’s expectations with respect to its acquisition activity, or difficulties encountered in connection with acquisitions, dispositions or similar transactions.