Hydro Aluminum Announces Moultrie Closing

Hydro Aluminum North America announced that it would cease operations at its Moultrie, Georgia, facility. The company plans to discontinue extrusion operations by the end of 2002, and to sell or transfer the remaining anodizing and fabrication activities no later than mid-2003.

In total, 121 employees will be affected by the closure. The 96 hourly employees at Moultrie are represented by Local 7834 of the United Steelworkers of America.

In making the announcement, the company noted that despite recent investments in the Moultrie plant, the facility has experienced continued low business levels as a result of weak market conditions. In addition, due to Hydro's acquisition of VAW earlier this year, the company improved its manufacturing capabilities. The company expects to transfer business currently served at Moultrie to other Hydro facilities with minimal customer disruption.

The Moultrie plant has produced aluminum extrusion since 1963. Originally Tucker Aluminum, it was subsequently part of Combustion Engineering. Moultrie was purchased by the predecessor to the former Wells Aluminum Company in 1976. Hydro Aluminum, a unit of Norsk Hydro ASA, of Oslo, Norway, purchased Wells, including the Moultrie facility, in 2000.

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