Kaiser plans to go ahead with project at Mead
$10 million job to rebuild aging carbon-bake furnace was put on hold a year ago
Marlene MehlhaffDecember 18th, 1997
Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp. plans to go ahead with a $10 million project at its Mead Works aluminum smelter that it put on hold indefinitely a year ago.
Susan Ashe, Kaisers spokeswoman here, says the project includes rebuilding an older 60,000-ton-per-year, carbon-bake furnace at the Mead plant. The work should be completed in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 1998, she says.
The project is part of $54.5 million in work to modernize the carbon-bake operation at the Mead smelter, the rest of which was completed recently. That work, which began in April 1996, included construction of a new 90,000-ton-per-year, carbon-bake furnace to replace three of four aging furnaces.
The remaining furnace is the one that is to be rebuilt. Kaiser said last year that it had decided to delay that improvement because the Mead plant faced increasing competition in the world aluminum market.
Ashe says Kaiser still is focusing on reducing costs and improving productivity and safety to remain competitive.
The carbon-bake operation produces carbon blocks, or anodes, that are installed in cells on a production potline to conduct electricity through alumina and other chemicals, reducing the material to molten aluminum.
Kaiser employs about 1,200 people at the Mead smelter and another about 1,500 people at its Trentwood rolling mill.