Deadline approaching for Alcoa’s $600 million modernization plan in Massena; decision expected by March 31
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 5:42 pm

MASSENA – A deadline for a $600 million modernization project at Alcoa's Massena plant is approaching quickly.

A contract with the New York Power Authority requires Alcoa to present a plan by March 31 or risk losing low cost power provided by the agency, according to the agreement.

According to Alcoa’s website, the plan is expected to be presented to Alcoa's Board of Directors this month.

The Massena Modernization Project (MMP) is a multi-million-dollar investment in smelting operations and designed to secure the plant’s economic impact and manufacturing jobs for several decades.

According to the project overview, the plan includes construction of a new potline at Massena East, which will produce 144,000 metric tons of aluminum per year, upgrades to existing facilities at Massena West and modifications to other existing facilities that will help integrate the two plants and support the new potline.

The most significant part of the Project is building a new potroom at the East Plant and replacing the current “Soderberg” technology at that facility with the more modern “pre-bake” technology like what is currently used at the West Plant.

“Pots” are the steel-lined containers in which molten aluminum is made (smelted).

The project aims to improve air quality and emissions, generate less waste in the aluminum-making process and reduce the amount of dust employees have to work around.

The Project will cost at least $600 million, as required by the power contract.

Although schedule details are not final, if approved by the Alcoa Board of Directors, construction will begin by June, 2013, employing several hundred temporary construction workers throughout the course of the construction phase.

For more on the project visit