Alcoa won’t idle Ferndale smelter in June as planned

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FERNDALE, Wash. (AP) — Alcoa says it now plans to keep an aluminum smelter in Ferndale open after reaching a power agreement with Bonneville Power Administration that keeps the facility competitive.

The metals maker said Monday it would not idle the Intalco Works smelter by June as previously announced. The move prevents the layoff of about 465 workers.

The company says an amendment to a power contract with BPA allows additional access to market power through early 2018. BPA is the federal agency that markets power from dams in the Pacific Northwest.

Alcoa says the deal, combined with $3 million from the state of Washington for worker training, is helping the smelter in northwest Washington remain competitive.

In written statements, Gov. Jay Inslee and others applauded the efforts made to keep manufacturing jobs in the state.

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